Biden in surprise Kyiv visit

Prior to the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the nation, US President Joe Biden paid a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday and pledged increased arms delivery and unwavering support for Ukraine.

Biden met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the US president’s first visit to the nation since Russian troops invaded on February 24, 2022, as air raid sirens wailed around the capital.

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Military police in uniform from Ukraine lined the street outside. While a military salute sounded and the two presidents stared at each other in silence for a little while, Biden and Zelensky crossed the street and together laid a wreath at the Wall of Memorial for the Russian-Ukrainian War’s fallen heroes.

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.

Josep Borrell, the head of foreign affairs for the EU, also cautioned China against giving Russia weaponry for the conflict in Ukraine, saying that doing so “would constitute a red line in our relationship.”

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