Austin, Blinken Will Be in Kyiv on Sunday, Zelensky Says

White House and Pentagon don't immediately confirm trip
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2022 2:15 PM CDT
Austin, Blinken Will Be in Kyiv on Sunday, Zelensky Says
In an image from video, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks Friday from Kyiv.   (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that he didn't think it was a "big secret" that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are on their way to see him, but American officials acted like it was. Zelensky mentioned the visit during a press conference, saying the two Cabinet members are "coming to us tomorrow," but White House and Defense Department officials declined to discuss the matter. The meeting in Kyiv on Sunday would be the highest-level visit by a US delegation since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Washington Post reports.

The topic will be military aid, Zelensky said, per the New York Times; US military assistance to help Ukraine fight off Russian forces so far totals about $3.4 billion. Zelensky also said he expects, "when the security will allow," a visit from President Biden, per CNN, though White House officials have called that unlikely. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among the foreign leaders who have visited the capital recently in shows of support. The UN has announced that Secretary-General António Guterres will travel to meet Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin separately next week, per Axios. (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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