Friday, 03 December 2021 12:37 GMT

Zelensky meets Pentagon chief


(MENAFN- UkrinForm) President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday met with Secretary of Defense of the United States of America, Lloyd Austin, who is in Kyiv on a working visit.

During the meeting, the parties paid special attention to the issue of further deepening practical cooperation between Ukraine and the United States in the field of security and defense in accordance with the agreements reached during the visit of the President of Ukraine to the United States, Ukrinform reports referring to the presidential press service.

"The United States remains Ukraine's key partner in security and defense," Volodymyr Zelensky said, expressing gratitude to the United States for the logistical assistance in enhancing the capabilities of Ukraine's Armed Forces to counter Russian aggression.

Read also: U.S. will strengthen strategic defense partnership with Ukraine – Austin

The parties noted the pace of the implementation of the decision announced during Zelensky's Washington visit to provide additional security assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $60 million.

Volodymyr Zelensky and Lloyd Austin exchanged views on the security situation in eastern Ukraine, as well as in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The president noted that Ukraine is trying to intensify the work in all negotiation formats in order to achieve peace in the country's east and restore sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The interlocutors discussed topical issues of Ukraine's cooperation with NATO and further support from the United States in the realization of our country's Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The United States Secretary of Defense was briefed on steps taken to reform Ukraine's security and defense sector, including the domestic defense industry, in line with NATO standards, in order to meet as soon as possible the criteria for NATO membership.

During the meeting, Volodymyr Zelensky and Lloyd Austin also touched upon the issues of energy security of Ukraine and Europe.

Read also: Pentagon chief: No third country eligible to veto Ukraine's accession to NATO

The U.S. secretary of defense assured the Ukrainian president of the United States' resolute support for Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

“My sincere thanks to President 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,” Lloyd tweeted Tuesday.

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