Blinken, Austin to travel to Ukraine to meet with Zelensky

Brendan Smialowski/Pool via Associated Press - Associated Press/Alex Brandon

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Saturday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin would be traveling to Ukraine — the highest-ranking U.S. officials to visit the country since Russia launched its invasion in February.

“I don’t think that this is a big secret. The people from the U.S. are coming to us tomorrow. I shall … meeting with the State Secretary Mr. Blinken and the Defense secretary who are coming to us,” Zelensky told reporters during a briefing.

“Tomorrow we will be discussing the list of weapons which we need,” he added.

A State Department spokesperson declined to comment to The Hill about Zelensky’s remarks.

The Hill has reached out to the White House and Pentagon for comment. 

Blinken and Austin would be the highest-ranking officials from the United States to travel to Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion there. 

President Biden has not yet traveled to Ukraine, though Zelensky and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba have previously pushed for him to do so.

“We will be waiting for the time when the security situation will allow the president of the U.S. to come and to talk to us,” Zelensky said on Saturday.

Zelensky’s remarks come after Biden on Thursday announced that the U.S. will send Ukraine another $800 million in military aid. 

That is separate from a different package the Treasury Department announced the same day in which it will be sending $500 million to Ukraine to help fund government pensions and salaries and other means of keeping the country’s government afloat.

Tags Antony Blinken Antony Blinken Joe Biden Lloyd Austin Lloyd Austin Russia-Ukraine conflict Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky

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