US, Ukraine discuss strengthening air defense, NATO membership bid

US, Ukraine discuss strengthening air defense, NATO membership bid

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterates US' support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, says spokesperson

By Merve Aydogan

HAMILTON, Canada (AA) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday met with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Washington to discuss efforts towards Ukraine's NATO membership as well as "new actions" to strengthen Kyiv’s air defense.

"They discussed ongoing work to bring Ukraine closer to NATO membership, commitment to Ukraine’s ability to defend against Russian aggression now and deter future aggression, and support for reforms necessary for Ukraine’s transatlantic integration. They discussed new actions being taken by Allies to improve Ukraine’s air defense," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

They met on the sideline of a three-day summit in Washington, where 32 allies are preparing to celebrate NATO's 75th anniversary and discussed energy security and the collaborative G7+ efforts to strengthen Ukraine's energy system resilience against escalating Russian attacks, the statement said.

"The Secretary congratulated Foreign Minister Kuleba on historic support at the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland, as well as Ukraine’s heroic defense of its northern and eastern regions against recent Russian offensives," Miller added.

Reiterating Washington’s “enduring” support, Blinken emphasized the US commitment to Ukraine's "sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”

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