U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, stressing that the United States remains committed to supporting Ukraine’s right to determine its own future foreign policy.
“My sincere thanks to President of Ukraine Zelensky for hosting me in Kyiv today. Together with our allies, we remain committed to supporting Ukraine’s right to decide its own future foreign policy, free from outside influence,” Austin wrote on Twitter.
As reported, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived in Ukraine on an official visit on Tuesday, October 19.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin, during his visit to Georgia and Ukraine next week, will urge these countries to carry out the transformations necessary to qualify for NATO membership, the Pentagon has said.
“Austin will stress in both Georgia and Ukraine that there is an open door to NATO and encourage the nations to make the changes necessary for them to qualify for membership in the defensive alliance,” the U.S. Department of Defense has reported.
As reported, Austin will visit Romania and Belgium after Ukraine and Georgia. In Brussels, the head of the Pentagon will hold a meeting with the defense ministers of the NATO countries. According to the Pentagon, this meeting is expected to discuss Russia, as well as problems from China.
Earlier, the Pentagon said Austin was going on a trip to Europe that weekend. In Georgia, he will meet with Prime Minister of this country Irakli Garibashvili and Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze, and in Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Andriy Taran.
In Romania he will meet with President Klaus Iohannis and Defense Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin plans to visit Ukraine next week, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said at a briefing on Tuesday.
“Secretary [Austin] and his team will be preparing for a trip to Europe next week. Stops will include Georgia, Ukraine and Romania and it will conclude this important visit with allies and partners in Brussels for the NATO defense ministerial,” he said.
The meeting of the heads of defense departments of NATO countries in Brussels is scheduled for October 21-22.