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President Joe Biden announced on Monday during his surprise visit to Kyiv $500 million in additional aid to Ukraine and advanced that this week he will announce more sanctions against Russia.
Biden made the announcement in remarks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymir Zelensky, at the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv.
The U.S. president explained that the new aid package will include more military equipment, artillery ammunition, howitzers, and Javelin missiles, designed to destroy tanks and other heavy vehicles.
However, Biden did not announce the shipment to Ukraine of new military equipment, such as F-16 fighter jets, which Zelenski is demanding to defend against Russia.
“One year later, Kyiv is still standing. Ukraine is still standing and democracy is still standing,” proclaimed President Biden.
Biden said he did not want there to be any doubt about the “unwavering” support of the United States for Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity and for that reason he had traveled to Kyiv on Monday.
Next to Biden, Zelenski thanked him for his presence in Kyiv and explained that the two had discussed “long-range weapons and weapons that could still be supplied to Ukraine but have not been supplied before,” without elaborating on exactly what kind of weaponry he was referring to.
The White House had not anticipated Biden’s visit to Kyiv for security reasons and did not report it until it was already underway.
This is the first time the US president has visited Kyiv since the start of the war, although the first lady, Jill Biden, called the Ukrainian city of Uzhhorod, on the border with Slovakia, on May 8 last year, coinciding with the celebration of Mother’s Day in Ukraine.
Other world leaders had already visited Kyiv over the past year to show their solidarity with Ukraine. They include French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
Biden is scheduled to begin an official visit to Poland tomorrow, Tuesday, to reaffirm his commitment to the countries on NATO’s eastern flank.