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Zelenskyy conveys need for 2 Patriot systems as Blinken visits Ukraine

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed the requirement for an additional two Patriot missile defense systems, just prior to his scheduled meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who unexpectedly arrived in Kyiv.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 14,2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday said there is a need for two more Patriot missile defense systems, ahead of his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who made a surprise visit to Kyiv.

"The second point is air defense. The biggest deficit for us … We need, today, two Patriots for Kharkiv, for (the) Kharkiv region, because there the people are under attack. Civilians, warriors, everybody. They are under (attack by) Russian missiles," Zelenskyy said.

Expressing that Washington's $60.8 billion military aid to Ukraine was a crucial, Zelenskyy said the delivery of the aid "as soon as possible" is important.

Last month, US President Joe Biden signed a much-delayed $61 billion aid bill to Ukraine, said to be the largest since Russia's war on Ukraine in February 2022.

Blinken said the military aid for Ukraine is "on the way" in the "near term."

"Some of it has already arrived. More of it will be arriving. And that's going to make a real difference against the ongoing Russian aggression on the battlefield. And we're determined, along with many other partners of Ukraine, to make sure that you succeed on the battlefield," he said.

The US diplomat said they are equally determined to make sure Ukraine "stands strongly on its own feet" in military, economic and political terms.

"A strong, successful, thriving, free Ukraine is the best possible rebuke to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, and the best possible guarantor for your future. And for all of that, the United States is and will remain a committed partner," he added.

In a post on X, Blinken said he told Zelenskyy that "the US has been by Ukraine's side from day one, and we will stay by your side."