US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday arrived in Ukraine's capital Kyiv on a surprise visit, marking his second trip to the country since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2022.
"I just arrived in Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian leaders. I'm here today to deliver an important message – the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine in their fight for freedom against Russia’s aggression, both now and into the future," Austin said on X.
The US Defense Department said in a separate statement that Austin will reinforce Washington's support for Ukraine and underscore its continued commitment to providing Kyiv with the necessary security assistance, while also discussing a "long-term vision for Ukraine's future force."
"The discussions will focus on further bolstering the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine, to include ensuring Ukraine's armed forces have the battlefield capabilities they need for both the winter and to defend their country against future Russian threats," it added.