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"Discussed the key issues": Zelenskyy meets with Austin, expressing gratitute for Biden's important decision. Video

Maryna LisnychukPolitics
Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Lloyd Austin

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. They discussed Ukraine's defense needs and the preparation of a bilateral security agreement.

This was reported by the President's press service. A short video was also published on official social media.

It is noted that the parties met on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian Security Summit, where security assistance to Ukraine was one of the key issues.

With Austin, the president spoke about the defense needs of Ukraine, which are being addressed by US assistance, in particular for training and equipping new brigades. He thanked the head of the Pentagon for his active work to strengthen Ukraine's air defense system.

"This is the most important thing now: to protect the lives of Ukrainians, our cities, communities and civilian infrastructure. This is very important," he said.

The interlocutors also paid attention to the F-16 coalition, in particular the necessary joint efforts to speed up the delivery of the fighter jets. Separately, Zelenskyy emphasized the critical importance of the military aid package passed by Congress.

"We discussed the key issues: the defense needs of our country, strengthening the Ukrainian air defense system, the F-16 coalition, and the preparation of a bilateral security agreement," the statement said.

Speaking to Austin, the Ukrainian leader expressed gratitude to US President Joe Biden for making an important decision to allow Ukraine to use US weapons against targets in Russia. He emphasized that this is important for defense and for effective counteraction to Russian attempts to expand the combat zone.

"We appreciate the vital defense and political support of Ukraine from the United States," the President added.

''Discussed the key issues'': Zelenskyy meets with Austin, expressing gratitute for Biden's important decision. Video

According to Politico and CNN, Biden was persuaded to allow Ukraine to strike Russia with US weapons. Currently, it is allowed to do so with MLRS/HIMARS systems, while it is prohibited to launch long-range missiles (like ATACMS) at military targets deep in Russia, to hit enemy aircraft deployed on the ground, and to hit civilian infrastructure (probably also dual-use).

As reported, on June 1, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with a delegation from the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee in Singapore. They discussed further support for the country, including military assistance.

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