US President Joe Biden is in Kyiv this morning in a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital.
It marks President Biden’s first visit to the country since Russia’s invasion began just over a year ago.
As we approach the anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, I'm in Kyiv today to meet with President Zelenskyy and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 20, 2023
Just last week, the White House said there were no plans for President Biden to travel to Ukraine, even though he was visiting Poland to mark the anniversary of the invasion.
Ukiraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he and President Biden discussed long-range weapons during the visit.
Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko confirmed Mr Biden's visit and wrote on Twitter: "Welcome Mr. President!".
Yes, confirmed @POTUS in #Kyiv. Welcome Mr President! Looking forward to the announcements following the air raid sirens experience
— Lesia Vasylenko (@lesiavasylenko) February 20, 2023
Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Sunday that he and Mr Biden will discuss the possibility of increasing US troop presence in Poland.
In a statement, President Biden said he was meeting with the Ukrainian president to “reaffirm our unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity”.
“When Putin launched his invasion nearly one year ago, he thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided,” he said.
“He thought he could outlast us. But he was dead wrong.”
President Biden said he would announce more military equipment for Ukraine during the trip, while late this week, the US would announce “additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine
It follows a series of recent trips by Mr Zelenskyy to a number of Western allies including the UK and France.
Just last week, he delivered an address to the European Parliament in Brussels.
In December, Mr Zelenskyy visited President Biden at the White House on his first trip out of Ukraine since the war began.
Reporting from IRN …