US President Joe Biden has welcomed his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy for talks in Washington DC.
Ahead of the talks, the Biden administration announced another huge package of military support – to the tune of €1.7 billion – to help Ukraine repel Vladimir Putin’s forces.
“He’s trying to use winter as a weapon, but the Ukrainian people continue to inspire the world,” Biden told Zelenskyy at a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House. “I mean that sincerely. Not just inspire us, but inspire the world with their courage and how they have chosen their resilience and resolve for the future.”
In the package is the highly sought-after Patriot missile battery, the most advanced surface-to-air missile system the West has offered to Ukraine.
Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials have pressed Western leaders to provide more advanced weapons, including the Patriots, to help their country in its war with Russia.
Russia has previously said this would signal an escalation in tensions and it remains unclear when the Patriot will arrive on the front lines.
Also included in the package are two other key items: an undisclosed number of Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits, or JDAMs, will be sent to Ukraine; and the US will also fund satellite communications terminals and services, shoring up a potential vulnerability for Ukraine, after billionaire Elon Musk said his company could no longer afford to provide the services without charge.