1st LD: Biden makes surprise trip to Kiev amid anti-war rally at home

A demonstrator holds a slogan during the anti-war rally in Washington, D.C., the United States, Feb. 19, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

KIEV, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit here on Monday, one day after thousands rallied in Washington to protest against the United States’ war-mongering foreign policy and its role in various conflicts across the globe.

Biden held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, about the situation on the frontline in Ukraine and announced an additional 500 U.S. million dollars in military aid for Ukraine on top of the more than 50 billion dollars already promised, a move that is widely believed to further escalate the Ukraine crisis.

While speaking at a joint press conference with Zelensky, Biden said the new assistance package will consist of missiles for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and Javelin anti-tank missile systems, as well as more military equipment and weapons.

The United States and its allies have already committed nearly 700 tanks and thousands of armored vehicles to Ukraine and 1,000 artillery systems, among other aid, Biden said.

For his part, Zelensky said the war must end with the full de-occupation of Ukrainian territories and security guarantees for Ukraine.

Biden’s trip, which came four days ahead of the first anniversary of the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, is designed to show solidarity with Ukraine.

The brief visit also came at a time when more in the United States and beyond are growing wary of the U.S. role in the year-long conflict. 

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