Ukraine needs two Patriot air defense systems to protect Kharkiv and Oblast - Zelenskyy tells Blinken

Meeting of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on May 14, 2024
Meeting of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on May 14, 2024

Ukraine needs two more Patriot air defense systems to protect Kharkiv and Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken on May 14, Ukrinform reported.

"I want to discuss some very important issues with you," Zelenskyy said.

"First, the package decision — it is key for us that it arrives as soon as possible. Second, is air defense. This is our biggest need. I think that this is the biggest problem."

Blinken had arrived in Kyiv hours earlier on an unannounced visit.

Read also: Germany pushes USA to supply Ukraine with additional Patriot air defense systems – Bloomberg

The visit to Ukraine by a high-ranking American official was the first since the U.S. Congress passed a long-stalled $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine last month.

The package will soon arrive in Ukraine, Blinken told Zelenskyy.

U.S. aid to Ukraine

After months of delay, the U.S. House of Representatives finally passed a bill providing over $60 billion in support for Ukraine on April 20.

The U.S. Senate also passed the Ukraine aid bill on April 24.

Read also: Blinken meets with Czech FM Lipavský to discuss Ukraine aid, transfer of ammunition to UA

U.S. President Joe Biden signed the bill the same day, adding that deliveries would begin "immediately, within hours."

The aid package includes ammunition for air defense systems, artillery, missile systems, and armored vehicles, he added.

The new aid package for Ukraine should last until the end of 2024, the White House stated.

The U.S. had secretly sent over 100 long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine in March, The New York Times reported.

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