“It can be regarded as preparation for the arrival of Joe Biden in the Ukrainian capital”
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials in Kyiv. They said that American diplomats would gradually re-establish a presence in Ukraine. Moreover, Washington will send additional military aid to Kyiv in the amount of more than $700 million. The experts named the purpose of such a high-profile visit, and also assessed its impact on Russian-Ukrainian negotiations.
Negotiations between American representatives with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba lasted three hours, Reuters reports. In Washington, the trip of Blinken and Austin to Kyiv was not confirmed until the politicians left the territory of Ukraine. U.S. officials have already made statements following the talks in Poland.
In particular, Washington promised to allocate additional military assistance to Kyiv in the amount of $713 million. It is noted that Ukraine will receive more than $320 million of them, and the rest will go to America's allies in the region.
In addition, the US Secretary of State and the head of the Department of Defense announced the gradual resumption of the American diplomatic presence on the territory of Ukraine.
Earlier, a Reuters source in the State Department indicated that in the near future diplomats would resume “one-day trips” to Lviv from Poland, and then “renew their presence in Kyiv.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry, for its part, noted that they would evaluate the visit Austin and Blinken to Kyiv “prematurely.”
“Let’s look at the results of the visit and draw conclusions,” said Andrey Rudenko, Deputy Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
According to the chief scientific Researcher at the Institute for the USA and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Vasiliev, the visit of Anthony Blinken and Lloyd Austin is a logical consequence of the initiatives announced by the United States, in this case by President Joe Biden.
“The American leader earlier announced the need to allocate an additional $800 million to Ukraine,” continues political scientist – Thus, the total volume of military assistance to Kyiv from Washington will reach 3.2 billion dollars.
It is obvious that the meeting of the US Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense with Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials is connected with the actual organization of arms supplies. In this regard, the visit highlights only one fact: at present, we are not facing the problem of the Kyiv regime. It is quite obvious that today the Russian Federation is opposed by the collective West, in this case the US military machine, which in one form or another supplies intelligence information, is engaged in planning operations. All military decisions are made in the Pentagon. Perhaps, for these purposes, a certain kind of headquarters or command post was created in the American defense department, which remotely manages military operations in Ukraine and exercises general control over the situation.
It is clear that the United States is heading for a long conflict in Ukraine, and therefore provide it with all kinds of support. In this case, we are talking about a program that is measured in weeks and months.”
The expert does not believe in the success of negotiations on this issue. According to him, the Americans have chosen such tactics that the negotiation process is just a smoke screen or a form of propaganda campaign. The idea will be promoted that Kyiv allegedly offers a truce and de-escalation, and Moscow strongly rejects this.
“In addition, given the recent visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kyiv and the current semi-secret Blinken and Austin, we should expect the arrival of Joe Biden in Kyiv,” Vladimir Vasilyev emphasized. – All this can be regarded as preparation for the visit of the American leader to the Ukrainian capital, such a visit would be extremely important for internal political reasons.
Preparation for it is also important, especially in terms of symbolism. We know that after Johnson's arrival in Kyiv, negotiations ceased. For the US, this logic is not entirely acceptable. Therefore, if Biden's visit does take place, then it should be timed to coincide with some kind of military operations. Ideally, the Kyiv authorities can report some sort of military success.
Biden in this case acts not only as the president of the United States, but also as the supreme commander in chief. He could instruct the heads of the Foreign or Defense Ministry to make key statements, for example, on military supplies. But still, the American leader decided to take the initiative.
In the United States, in one form or another, the question of the effectiveness of military support arises. Is it just funds dumped into a black hole at a time when the US authorities themselves have to cut social spending? Into whose hands does it fall? Such information reaches the consciousness of the population, and therefore Biden's rating does not grow.
It is important to show that military assistance not only reached the front lines, but was also applied with success. Today, this is precisely the imperative of the United States.”
“First of all, the meeting participants could talk about the proposals that Russia conveyed to Ukrainian representatives,” commented “MK” Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries Vladimir Zharikhin. – However, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky denied them earlier. The head of state said that he had not seen anything like it. However, proposals to resolve the situation in Ukraine could still become a subject of discussion.”
According to the expert, during the meeting, of course, the need to continue resistance was discussed. Washington is not yet interested in concluding any agreements.
“It is the United States that decides what Kyiv agrees to and what not to agree to, what to comply with and what not,” the political scientist continues. “Moreover, they are the main party that solves problems in Ukraine, and not the president of this country at all.
Vladimir Zelensky can say whatever he wants. But until a decision is made in Washington, he still will not take any serious action. At the same time, judging by his latest statements, distinguished guests from the United States will insist on continued resistance from the Ukrainian side. This means that Russian proposals may soon be rejected by Kyiv.