Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Thursday that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the US is not symbolic, but rather aimed at bolstering the country’s defense.
“A historic day in Washington, the absolute admiration of Americans for Ukraine and President Zelenskyy. This visit is now the number one event in America and the world. But this visit is not about symbolism, but about concrete decisions that strengthen Ukraine's defense,” Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Facebook.
Welcoming the US decision to provide Ukraine with Patriot air defense systems, Kuleba said that Kyiv will receive the first Patriot battery “soon”, which he underlined will bring “a completely new level of air protection.”
He further said that their wait for obtaining Patriot air defense systems came to an end with the phone conversation between Zelenskyy and US President Joe Biden in early December.
“Undoubtedly, it was the close, trusting relationship between the presidents that played a key role … And the most important thing: the story of the ‘Patriots’ is another example of the fact that the impossible becomes possible if Ukraine does it,” Kuleba added.
Zelenskyy departed his country on Wednesday for the first time since Russia launched its “special military operation” 10 months ago to consult with Biden and US officials in Washington.
The Kremlin had warned Washington against providing Ukraine with the system, saying last Thursday that any deliveries would raise the risk of Washington’s direct involvement in the conflict.