Former top US diplomat Pompeo visits Kiev, underlines support

VS oud-topdiplomaat Pompeo bezoekt Kiev, onderstreept steun

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Ukraine on Monday to underline his support for Kiev and said he was working with Washington to provide F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles for the country’s war against Russia.

Asked if he would support providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles, Pompeo replied, “Yes. Training and software and whatever it takes to protect and defend your own country.”

Before an audience of Ukrainian lawmakers, government officials, military representatives, civil society activists and students, he said military support for Ukraine is in Washington’s best interests.

Pompeo’s comments echo a debate in the US over how much more support Ukraine should receive. Washington has already provided about $30 billion in military aid since the start of what Moscow calls its “special military operation.”

Pompeo, who is also director of the CIA, said Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be underestimated, saying the Kremlin leader “recognizes one thing, and that is force and steadfast determination.”

He said a new security framework was needed to avoid major land wars in Europe. “There needs to be a series of regulations that make it clear beyond doubt that Vladimir Putin cannot do this again,” he said.

Pompeo said he visited Ukraine with representatives of American businessmen and various humanitarian organizations. He went to the military hospital and met the Ukrainian government officials.

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