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Biden makes surprise visit to Kiev

Kiev, Feb 20 (IANS) US President Joe Biden on Monday made a surprise visit to Kiev where he met his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky just four days before the ongoing war marks its first anniversary.

In a social media post, Zelensky shared a picture of the two leaders and said Biden’s “visit is an extremely important sign of support for all Ukrainians”.

The surprise visit came as Biden travelled to neighbouring Poland to meet President Andrzej Duda, reports the BBC.

There had been speculation earlier on Monday that an important guest was arriving in the Ukrainian capital, which Ukrainian politician Lesia Vasylenko later confirmed that it was Biden.

President Joe Biden announced a half-billion dollars of additional assistance to Ukraine during a surprise visit to Ukraine on Monday.

Biden, in joint remarks alongside Zelensky, announced half-billion dollars in assistance to the war-torn nation.

He said the package would include more military equipment, including artillery ammunition, more javelins and Howitzers, reports CNN.

Zelensky said he and Biden spoke about “long range weapons and the weapons that may still be supplied to Ukraine even though it wasn’t supplied before” .

In remarks, Biden spoke about the resilience of the Ukrainian resistance as the war enters its second year.

“One year later, Kiev stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands,” Biden said.

Besides Zelensky, the American President also met First Lady Olena Zekenska, at the presidential palace in Kiev.

Zelensky had traveled to Washington in December 2022 to meet Biden in the Oval Office and speak to a joint session of Congress — his first trip outside Ukraine since the war began.