United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will be in Georgia and Ukraine later this month to meet with their leaders, the Pentagon said in a statement.
In Ukraine Austin will meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Andrei Taran to "reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"The visit will also serve as an opportunity to discuss Ukraine's progress with the implementation of defense and defense industry reforms needed to advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations as well as regional cooperation among Black Sea allies and partners," the statement said.
"In Georgia, Secretary Austin will meet with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Minister of Defense Juansher Burchuladze to reaffirm U.S. support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and underscore the importance of the U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership in addressing regional and global security challenges," the statement said.
Austin will also visit several countries in Europe, including Romania and Belgium. In Romania he will meet with President Klaus Iohannis and Defense Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca. After that he will travel to Brussels for a NATO meeting of defense ministers.