September 8, 2022
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The Head of State emphasized that Antony Blinken’s visit is an important demonstration of US leadership positions and a sign of solidarity with Ukraine during the full-scale invasion of Russia. The President noted the tangible support of the United States for the sovereignty of Ukraine. He emphasized that the aid that Ukraine receives will accelerate the achievement of the main goal – the restoration of the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state.
“Dear State Secretary, colleagues, first and foremost, I would like to extend words of gratitude for your visit and the visit of your team. It sends a very important signal that confirms the leadership support and the leadership positions of the United States, in terms of their support to Ukraine in this war, for our freedom, for democracy, for our nation, for our people, for our territory in this war against the aggressor, the Russian Federation,” said PresidentVolodymyr Zelenskyy.
“And we are grateful for this signal, for the enormous support you are providing on the day-to-day basis, and we’d like to extend words of gratitude to you personally and to the administration of the President Biden, him personally,” he continued. “I would like also to extend words of gratitude to the Congress of the United States for these very constructive steps of support in many directions – the financial support, which is allocated to ensure the stability of Ukrainian economy, as well as further reinforces the capabilities of our armed forces, which are defending the territorial integrity of Ukraine on the battlefield.”
“Mr. President, thank you so very much. It’s wonderful to see you again, to see my friend, Dmytro. We speak on the phone frequently, but it’s even better to see him and you in person. This is my fifth trip to Ukraine in this job, the third since Russia’s invasion, if you count as one trip the occasion when Dmytro and I met on the border very early and we stepped into Ukrainian territory,” replied the US Secretary of State.
“But Mr. President, we know this is a pivotal moment. More than six months into Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, as your counter-offensive is now underway and proving effective, that is of course mostly the function of the incredible bravery, resilience of Ukrainians. We see that on the battlefield every day. We are so pleased that we’ve been able to support your efforts and we’ll continue to do so. But fundamentally what this comes down to, the reason for this success, is that this is your homeland, not Russia’s. And it’s as basic as that,” he added.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Antony Blinken discussed in detail the prospects of increasing defense support for Ukraine from the United States. The importance of the official launch of the Lend-Lease program was noted.
“Mr. President, I am pleased to be able to announce, as we did earlier today, additional support for Ukraine, another $675 million in assistance and supplies that your military is already using to such great effect – rockets, artillery, armed vehicles, anti-tank systems, and more. This is the 20th drawdown, as we call it, and that brings our total commitment in security assistance to Ukraine since February to $13.5 billion,” announced Antony Blinken.
“We also notified our Congress of our intent to provide Ukraine with an additional $1 billion in what we call foreign military financing. This is for longer-term acquisitions of systems,” he added.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy highly appreciated the decision announced by the President of the United States on August 24 to provide Ukraine with $6 billion in grant support: a $3 billion package of security assistance and $3 billion in financial support through the World Bank. The Head of State also thanked for the new package of defense aid of $675 million approved on September 8, at the meeting at the Ramstein.
The President noted that American weapons have a positive effect on the situation at the front. The Armed Forces of Ukraine especially respect the HIMARS multiple-launch rocket systems. On behalf of the Ukrainian military, the Head of State thanked the United States for these weapons.
Speaking about the post-war world order, the President emphasized the importance of developing effective security guarantees for Ukraine. According to him, stability in Europe is impossible without such guarantees.
“We are also providing $1 billion, additional dollars, of financing for our European allies and partners, who’ve been doing so much to support Ukraine. This will allow the purchase of systems that you need, and others will need, over the longer term to deter and defend against any future aggressions from Russia. It will be the kind of assistance that is durable and enduring, as the prime minister and I discussed. I’m looking forward to an opportunity to hear about the counteroffensive, which is part and parcel of putting you, putting Ukraine, in the strongest possible position both on the battlefield and in the event there is a future opportunity for diplomacy,” said US Secretary of State.
President Zelenskyy also noted the high level of trust between the leaders of Ukraine and the US, and the effective functioning of existing bilateral negotiation formats.
“It is very important that the United States of America is with us. For us, this is a guarantee that we will be able to return our lands,” the Head of State emphasized.
“So it’s gotten to a point where Moscow is now seeking military assistance from North Korea and Iran as we have systematically choked off their access to inputs elsewhere, and we will continue to exert that pressure until the aggression ceases and Ukraine is fully sovereign and independent,” said Antony Blinken. “Across all of these measures, our support – the pressure on Russia, the humanitarian and economic assistance – I think together we’ve proven very effective, and we will keep (inaudible). You have our word and our track record. I should also add this: The rest of the world, of course, has felt the consequences of Russia’s aggression. And one of the consequences has been an increase in food insecurity that was already severe because of climate change and because of COVID. Russia’s aggression added to that problem.”
The parties positively noted the recovery of Ukrainian grain exports, which makes it possible to prevent the global food crisis deliberately provoked by Russia.
“The world must prevent the disruption of grain exports from Ukraine,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.
“The agreement that was reached that lifted the blockade by Russia on Odesa has already resulted in 100 ships bringing grain and food products to the world, and most of that has gone to what we call the Global South – countries in Africa and elsewhere who are the most in need. President Putin’s threat to discontinue that agreement I think will deeply anger and upset the countries that are benefiting now from Ukraine’s right to export its own food,” stressed US Secretary of State.
The President highly appreciated the economic and financial assistance that the United States provides to Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed hope that the United States will play a leading role in the implementation of the Fast Recovery Plan. This is necessary to prepare Ukraine for winter, to restore residential buildings, schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure facilities destroyed by the Russian army.
“Another key aspect of this is the massive cost and the massive consequences that Moscow is being subjected to as a result of its aggression. And I think it’s important to continue to emphasize that because what we see is costs on Russia that are already extraordinary and they’re going to get heavier and heavier. We see its GDP in freefall, anywhere between 9 and 15 percent this year; an exodus of more than 1,000 international companies from Russia, a brain drain of the most talented people from Russia; a huge decline in their imports so that they are unable to replace the weapons that they are using. They are unable to produce the products for their own people that they’ve expected in the past. They’re unable to make the things that they used to export to other countries, and their markets will dry out as a result. And they’re unable to borrow money against their sovereign debt,” announced Antony Blinken.
Hope was also expressed for the continuation of effective cooperation in the framework of the IMF and the World Bank.
The parties discussed the situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP in detail. Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated the constructive position of the US and Antony Blinken personally regarding the demilitarization of the ZNPP. He noted the importance of using all available mechanisms to ensure the implementation of this goal.
During the meeting, the importance of increasing international pressure on the aggressor state, which must be punished for crimes committed in Ukraine, was emphasized. It was noted that Russia already feels the economic consequences of its aggression, and its price will only increase. It is necessary to ensure that every citizen of the aggressor state is affected by the actions of his country. For this purpose, it is necessary to limit as much as possible the issuance of visas for Russians to the countries of the democratic world, in particular to the US.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his belief that Russia should be given the “honorary” status of a state – sponsor of terrorism.
“We have all seen the information about the body of British volunteer Paul Urey handed over to us by the aggressor. And terrible footage showing torture. This is yet another proof that we are dealing with a terrorist state,” the President said.
The President of Ukraine presented the Order of Yaroslav the Wise of the II degree to Antony Blinken. The Order was awarded to him for significant personal merits in strengthening interstate cooperation, support of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.