Kyiv, Ukraine: (AFP/APP): US President Joe Biden on Monday made a surprise trip to Kyiv, promising increased arms deliveries for Ukraine and unflagging support ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the country.
Air raid sirens rang out across the capital as Biden met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on what is the US president’s first visit to the country since Russian troops invaded on February 24, 2022.
Uniformed Ukrainian military officers lined the street just outside. Biden and Zelensky walked over and together laid a wreath at the Wall of Remembrance for the fallen heroes of the Russian-Ukrainian war, as a military salute played and the two presidents stared down in silence for a few moments.
Biden promised increased arms deliveries for Ukraine and vowed Washington’s “unflagging commitment” in defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
“I will announce another delivery of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardments,” he was quoted as saying in a White House statement.
Ukraine is estimated to be burning through thousands more shells each month than the EU defence industry is currently able to produce.
Zelensky hailed Biden’s visit as a key sign of support.
“Joseph Biden, welcome to Kyiv! Your visit is an extremely important sign of support for all Ukrainians,” Zelensky said on Telegram in English.
The visit came as Beijing lashed out against US claims that China was considering sending arms to Russia to assist in its war in Ukraine.
“It is the United States and not China that is endlessly shipping weapons to the battlefield,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said when asked about the US claims.
“We urge the United States to earnestly reflect on its own actions, and do more to alleviate the situation, promote peace and dialogue, and stop shifting blame and spreading false information,” he told a regular briefing.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also warned China against providing Russia with weapons for the war in Ukraine, saying: “for us, it would be a red line in our relationship.”

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