Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the US on Monday for "its continued leadership and support" for his war-stricken country as US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv.
"It was a very productive conversation, and it is important that it took place on the eve of the new meeting in the Ramstein format," Zelenskyy said in a statement on the presidency's website.
He said Austin's delegation also included US Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
"We discussed the situation on the battlefield and its prospects-how we can enhance both our defense and our advancement," Zelenskyy said. "There is a new defense package for our country from the United States."
"I am grateful for it. In particular, there will be more artillery-shells that are needed right now," he added.
Zelenskyy and Austin also discussed "Ukraine's actions in the Black Sea and the protection of our export corridor," the statement added.
"Freedom of navigation is a fundamental value for the entire world, and Ukraine has proven here in the Black Sea that we are capable of driving the aggressor out of the water area that it wanted so badly to make dead," he said.
"I am grateful to all partners who are helping us to ensure the real restoration of international law on our land and in our sea, and I am especially grateful to the United States for its continued leadership and support," he said.
On Monday, the US announced $100 million in new security assistance to Ukraine.
The package includes additional air defense capabilities, artillery ammunition, anti-tank weapons and other equipment, including one High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), TOW anti-tank missiles, 155mm and 105mm artillery ammunition and Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems as well as more than 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition.
"Security assistance for Ukraine is a smart investment in our national security," the US Defense Department said in a statement.
"It helps to prevent a larger conflict in the region and deter potential aggression elsewhere while strengthening our defense industrial base and creating highly skilled jobs for the American people in dozens of states across the country," it added.
The US has sent more than $44 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the Russian war in February 2022.
Meanwhile, Austin also met with Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.
"Good to meet with my counterpart @rustem_umerov in Kyiv to discuss Ukraine's counteroffensive operations and future force requirements. We stand with the people of Ukraine today—and for the long haul," Austin said on X.
Umerov said on X: "Was extremely glad to welcome Secretary Austin to Kyiv today. This visit is a clear message — the US support for Ukraine will remain steadfast and long-term."
"We had a fruitful discussion with @SecDef. Discussed Ukraine's current and future (capabilities) on the battlefield and how the US & allies can help fulfill them," he added.
"Another important topic we touched on is NATO. Ukraine has chosen ITS path: to become a NATO member. So, NATOfication is one of the MoD's main priorities."