Shipment courier

US sends first shipment of military aid to Ukraine amid standoff with Russia

The United States says the first shipment of military aid promised by President Joe Biden to Ukraine amid the standoff with Russia has arrived in Kyiv.

Late Friday, the US Embassy in Kyiv tweeted photos of a shipment it said had just arrived from the United States, with “nearly 200,000 pounds of lethal aid, including ammunition for Ukraine’s frontline defenders”.

The shipment demonstrated “Washington’s commitment to helping Ukraine strengthen its defenses in the face of growing Russian aggression,” the embassy said on Twitter.

Top US and Russian diplomats agreed on Friday to continue talking deadlock over Ukraine, even though their meeting produced no movement in the worst security crisis to erupt between Moscow and the West since the Cold War. .

Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border, and Western allies have also supplied arms and equipment to Ukraine.

Britain sent anti-tank missiles earlier this week, while Baltic defense ministers released a statement saying they had received US approval to send Stinger air defense missiles and Javelin anti-tank missiles to bolster Kiev’s defenses.

“Today, Ukraine is at the forefront of separating Europe from the military conflict with Russia,” Estonian Defense Minister Kalle Laanet said. “Let’s face it, the war in Ukraine is ongoing and it is important to support Ukraine in every way possible so that it can resist the aggressor.”

President Sauli Niinistö of Finland said he spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on European security and Ukraine, saying it was “imperative to preserve peace in Europe”, according to his office.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of NATO member Turkey, who has touted his close ties with Russia and Ukraine, has renewed an offer to mediate between the two countries. Erdogan said he planned to visit Kyiv next month, adding that he would also hold talks with Putin.

Russia has further upped the ante by announcing more military exercises in the region. He also refused to rule out the possibility of military deployments in the Caribbean, and Putin reached out to leaders opposed to the West.

Moscow denies planning an invasion of Ukraine and instead accuses the West of plotting “provocations” in the country, citing the delivery of arms by the UK in recent days.

Russia wants binding security guarantees, including a permanent ban on Ukraine’s NATO membership, which Kyiv aspires to, and the withdrawal of most US and allied military presence in Eastern Europe. ‘East.

Washington, Brussels and NATO have rejected these demands and warned that any attack on Ukraine will have costly consequences.

After their talks in Geneva on Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that the United States would give Russia written responses to Moscow’s proposals next week.

Blinken said the United States would be open to a meeting between Putin and President Biden, if it was “useful and productive.” The two met once in person in Geneva and had several virtual conversations about Ukraine that proved largely inconclusive.

After the meeting, Blinken spoke by phone with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and reaffirmed US support for Kiev’s sovereignty, stressing that no decision would be made without his country’s input, the official said. State Department spokesman Ned Price.

Blinken will also brief foreign ministers from Washington’s European allies, the spokesperson said.

Biden plans to spend the weekend huddled with his national security team at Camp David, the White House said.