Kiev (Ukraine), October 20: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met here on Tuesday to discuss ways to deepen practical cooperation between Kiev and Washington in the field of security and defense, the Ukrainian presidential press service said.
The two sides exchanged their views on the security situation in eastern Ukraine, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, as well as on the topical issues of Ukraine's cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Zelensky stressed the importance of Washington's role in enhancing the capabilities of his country's armed forces, saying that the United States remains Ukraine's "key partner" in security and defense.
The Ukrainian leader talked about the progress made in reforming the country's security and defense sector, including the domestic defense industry, to bring it closer to NATO standards.
For his part, the Pentagon chief pledged that the U.S. support for Ukraine will continue.
Austin arrived in Kiev earlier in the day for a working visit. He also held talks with Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran on the two countries' partnership in the defense sector.