During a working visit to the United States, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
The Head of State expressed condolences over the deaths of American servicemen as a result of the terrorist attack in Kabul.
"As President of a country that is losing its best sons every day in the war unleashed by Russia in eastern Ukraine, I understand well the pain of the families of the dead and the entire American people," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President spoke about Ukraine's assistance in evacuating foreign citizens and Afghans in need of protection from Afghanistan. The US Secretary of Defense thanked for the help of our state in evacuating people from Afghanistan.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured that Ukraine is and will remain on the same side with the United States in defending freedom and democracy.
The US Secretary of Defense congratulated Ukraine on the 30th anniversary of independence and assured that the United States would stand by our country, support its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and help counter Russian aggression. He also expressed support for Ukraine's aspirations for NATO membership.
The parties discussed the situation in the east of our country, which remains tense despite Ukraine's efforts to achieve de-escalation through peaceful diplomacy. In particular, tensions are growing due to the Russian Federation's military exercise "West-2021".
The President of Ukraine and the US Secretary of Defense also discussed the prospects of developing cooperation in order to counter Russia's aggressive policy in the Azov-Black Sea region and guarantee freedom of navigation in international waters.
"The situation in the Black Sea requires a collective security response," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Lloyd Austin said that the United States had decided to provide additional security assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $ 60 million, including the purchase of portable anti-tank missile systems "Javelin".
The President noted that the United States is a reliable security partner and thanked for the continued support in providing annual security assistance to Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that he is willing to reform the Ukrainian defense industry and fully supports the corporatization of defense enterprises.
In addition, the President thanked the American party for the treatment and rehabilitation of the Ukrainian military and veterans. He stressed that Ukraine counts on the support of the United States in building a network of medical and rehabilitation centers for our defenders.