Ukraine: Biden arrives in Kyiv on surprise visit

World Monday 20/February/2023 14:36 PM
By: DW
Ukraine: Biden arrives in Kyiv on surprise visit

Kyiv: US President Joe Biden on Monday made a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital, just days ahead of the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Joseph Biden, welcome to Kyiv! Your visit is an extremely important sign of support for all Ukrainians," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Telegram in English.

Air raid sirens sounded across Kyiv shortly before the news was confirmed.

The visit, which had not been announced in advance for security reasons, was Biden's first trip to Ukraine since Moscow launched the war.

Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksiy Goncharenko said Biden was meeting with Zelenskyy as air raid sirens were heard in the capital.

The two leaders visited the Wall of Remembrance of the Fallen for Ukraine in Kyiv.

What did Biden say?
"As the world prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine, I am in Kyiv today to meet with President Zelenskyy and reaffirm our unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine's democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity," Biden said in a statement.

The US president said he would announce the delivery of further equipment to Ukraine, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems and air surveillance radars. According to media reports, the new package of assistance is worth around half a billion US dollars.

Washington will later this week announce more sanctions against individuals and companies linked to "Russia's war machine," he added.

Biden also delivered remarks at Kyiv's Mariinsky Palace. "One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands,'' Biden said.