Blinken and Austin in Kyiv on Sunday
April 24, 2022 (EIRNS)—Late Sunday, reports came out that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met in Kyiv. This is the first high-level visit by U.S. officials since Russian began military operations on Feb. 24. Zelenskyy’s adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, said in a Ukrainian TV interview late Sunday night that the talks were underway.
Zelenskyy made the announcement of the visit at a press conference on April 23. Although he was mum about the logistics and precise agenda of the meeting, he warned that Blinken and Austin should not come empty-handed, “not just presents or some kind of cakes—we are expecting specific things and specific weapons.”
“We will be expecting, when the security will allow, the President of the United States to come and to talk to us,” Zelensky added.
“We will talk about the list of weapons that we need and the pace of its supply,” he told reporters gathered in a Kyiv subway station. “In recent weeks, the pace, the number have all improved. I’m grateful for that.”
Zelenskyy also attacked UN Secretary General António Guterres for planning to visit Russia on April 26 before traveling to Ukraine, scheduled for April 28, insisting that Guterres should have come to Ukraine first.
In its coverage, the British daily Guardian gushed that the meeting comes on a symbolic day—not only the three-month anniversary of the conflict, but also Eastern Orthodox Easter Sunday.
As of this writing, no statements issued from the meeting have been published, and the White House has declined to comment on any aspect of the visit.