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Biden talks with Zelensky about Ukraine’s “additional” military capabilities

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday discussed with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky the “additional military capabilities” needed to help Ukraine’s military “defend their country,” the White House said.

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“Leaders discussed how the United States is working day and night to meet Ukraine’s key requests for security assistance” as well as “the United States’ ongoing efforts with its allies and partners to identify additional capabilities to assist the Ukrainian military in defending its country,” the U.S. executive said in a statement after an ongoing call. 55 minutes between the two presidents.

The US presidency added that it stressed the “decisive” impact of the weapons provided by the Americans on the course of the conflict.

“In addition, President Biden has informed President Zelensky that the United States intends to provide the Ukrainian government with $500 million in direct budget support,” the White House said.

For his part, the Ukrainian head of state wrote on Twitter that he “shared his analysis of the situation on the battlefield and at the negotiating table”, the day after a new session of talks between Kyiv and Moscow.

“We talked about specific defense support, an enhanced new sanctions package, and significant financial and humanitarian assistance,” he added.

Russia, which launched its invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, has in recent days multiplied contradictory signals about its military projects and diplomatic intentions.

This is how the Kremlin estimated on Wednesday that there had been no “breakthrough” in negotiations between the belligerents in Istanbul, dimming the hopes born from other, more positive statements on Tuesday from Russian officials.

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On Wednesday, Ukrainian authorities accused Russia of bombing a Red Cross center in Mariupol and the city of Chernigov.

Neither Kyiv nor Washington has given much credence to Russia’s recent announcements promising a “radical reduction” of its military activity in the direction of Kyiv and Chernigov, or focus on the Donbass region alone, in the east of the country.