President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin discussed the situation in the Donbas and prospects for developing cooperation to counter the aggression of the Russian Federation in the Azov-Black Sea region press service of the office of the head of the Ukrainian state reported on Wednesday.
Zelensky is on a working visit to the United States, where he is scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden on Wednesday. Earlier, Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin said that U.S. President Joe Biden approved a new $ 60 million package of military assistance to Ukraine, including the supply of Javelin anti-tank missile systems (ATGMs).
“The parties discussed the situation in the east of our country, which remains tense, despite Ukraine’s efforts to achieve de-escalation through peaceful diplomatic means. In particular, tensions are increasing in connection with the holding of the military exercises “West-2021″ by the Russian Federation. The President of Ukraine and the U.S. Secretary of Defense also discussed the prospects for developing cooperation to counteract Russia’s policy in the Azov-Black Sea region and ensuring freedom of navigation in international waters,” the message says.
According to the press service, Zelensky expressed his condolences over the death of American servicemen due to the terrorist attack in Kabul on August 26 and spoke about Ukraine’s assistance in the evacuation of foreign citizens from Afghanistan. “As the president of a country that loses its best sons every day in the war unleashed by Russia in eastern Ukraine, I well understand the pain of the families of the victims and the entire American people,” the press service quotes Zelensky as saying.
As noted, the head of the Pentagon assured Zelensky that the United States will stand by Ukraine, support its sovereignty and territorial integrity, help in countering Russian aggression, and expressed support for Kyiv’s aspirations to join NATO.
Zelensky, at the meeting, thanked the U.S. assistance to Ukraine and noted that Kyiv counts on U.S. support in the development of a network of medical and rehabilitation centers for the Ukrainian military.