20 Nov 2023 11:52

Pentagon chief arrives in Kiev

WASHINGTON. Nov 20 (Interfax) - U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has said he is in Kiev to meet with Ukrainian officials.

"I just arrived in Kiev to meet with Ukrainian leaders," Austin posted on the X social network.

The visit was not announced in advance.

Austin "will underscore the continued U.S. commitment to providing Ukraine with the security assistance it needs to defend itself [...], while also discussing a long-term vision for Ukraine's future force," the Pentagon said.

He will also address ways to bolster the strategic partnership with Kiev, including guarantees on providing the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the military potential they need for operations in winter.

Later this week, Austin will chair the 17th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, the statement said, adding that the meeting would be virtual.

According to the ABC TV channel, it is Austin's second visit to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian special military operation. The Pentagon chief paid his first visit in April 2022.