Ukrainian leaders fear the conflict in the Middle East has drawn attention and aid away from the war they are fighting. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reassured them on Monday that Americans will stand by them " for the long haul."
Austin made an unannounced trip to Kyiv. He outlined a new 100-million-dollar package that includes air defense interceptors and anti-tank weapons. But he had to allay the fears of his hosts after US lawmakers failed last week to agree on additional assistance for Ukraine and for Israel. "What happens here in Ukraine not only matters to Ukraine but to the rest of the world and it certainly matters to the United States of America," Austin said.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Austin's visit sent a "very important signal."
Japanese ministers made their own visit to Kyiv to demonstrate their commitment. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsuji Kiyoto and State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Iwata Kazuchika brought along a group of executives to see how they might help rebuild communities once the war is over.