Blinken makes a surprise visit to Kiev and Biden bans the import of Russian enriched uranium Blinken makes a surprise visit to Kiev and Biden bans the import of Russian enriched uranium

Blinken makes a surprise visit to Kiev and Biden bans the import of Russian enriched uranium

Blinken makes a surprise visit to Kiev and Biden bans the import of Russian enriched uranium

US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, arrived in Kiev on Tuesday for a visit of support to Ukraine and a show of Washington's solidarity amid Russian attacks, while President Joe Biden signed legislation banning the import of Russian enriched uranium into law.

Blinken's visit to Kiev on Tuesday is the first by a senior US official since Congress last month approved a long-awaited $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine.

The previously undisclosed visit aims to show US solidarity with Ukraine as it struggles to confront heavy Russian bombing on its northeastern border.

"The secretary's job here is really to talk about how we can provide our additional assistance in a way that helps strengthen their defenses and enables them to increasingly regain the initiative on the battlefield," a US official said.

The official pointed out that artillery, long-range Atakum missiles, and air defense interceptor missiles approved by President Joe Biden on April 24 have already reached the Ukrainian forces.

The official said Blinken will reassure Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, of enduring US support and will deliver a speech focused on Ukraine's future.

Ban on Russian imports

In this context, the White House said that President Joe Biden signed legislation banning the import of Russian enriched uranium into law, in Washington's latest efforts to dry up one of the Kremlin's sources of funding.

The ban on fuel imports for nuclear power plants begins in about 90 days, although the Energy Department is allowed to issue exemptions if there are concerns about supplies.

Russia is the largest supplier of enriched uranium in the world, and about 24% of the material used by American nuclear power plants comes from Russia.

The law will also allocate about $2.7 billion from funding in previous legislation to boost the uranium fuel industry in the United States.

“President Biden signed a historic series of actions that will strengthen our nation’s energy security and economy by reducing, and ultimately eliminating, our dependence on Russia for civilian nuclear energy,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

Sullivan added that the law “achieves the multilateral goals we have set with our allies and partners,” including the pledge agreed upon last December with Canada, France, Japan, and Britain to invest $4.2 billion collectively to expand uranium enrichment capacity.

The waivers, if implemented by the Department of Energy, would allow all supplies of Russian uranium that the United States normally imports through 2027.

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