21 Nov 2023 10:55

German defense minister arrives in Kiev on unannounced visit

BERLIN. Nov 21 (Interfax) - German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius arrived in Kiev on Tuesday on a visit that was not announced in advance, the ZDF television channel said.

"I'm glad to be here again," Pistorius said at Kiev's railway station.

Germany's training of Ukrainian troops and deliveries of military assistance will top visit's agenda, ZDF said. Pistorius plans to meet with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.

It is Pistorius' second trip to Ukraine since he was appointed German defense minister. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Kiev on Monday.

Germany is the second largest supplier of military aid to Ukraine after the United States. However, there were concerns that the West could reduce its support to Ukraine due to the escalation of the crisis in the Middle East. Pistorius, has previously said Berlin would not stop providing support to Ukraine.

Earlier in November, the German media reported of the German government's plans to double military assistance to Ukraine to 8 billion euros in 2024.