Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv at the request of President Joe Biden.
Secretaries Blinken and Austin expressed their “strong support” for the Ukrainian government and for the Ukrainian people. Secretary Blinken described the meeting as “an important moment to have face-to-face conversations in detail about the extraordinary support that we’ve provided: security, economic, humanitarian, as well as the massive pressure that we’ve been exerting on Russia, and then to talk in detail about how we carry that forward across all of those fronts.”
Part of the United States’ commitment to Ukraine going forward involves the soon return of American diplomats to the country, including a new U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.
Ukraine has had considerable success in its war against Russian aggression. At the same time, “it’s also true that Russia continues to try to brutalize parts of the country, and the death and destruction that we continue to see is horrific,” said Secretary Blinken. “But Ukrainians are standing up, they’re standing strong, and they’re doing that with the support that we have coordinated from literally around the world.”
Indeed, “when it comes to Russia’s war aims, Russia is failing, Ukraine is succeeding,” said Secretary Blinken.
“Russia has sought as its principal aim to totally subjugate Ukraine – to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. That has failed. It’s sought to assert the power of its military and its economy. We of course are seeing just the opposite – a military that is dramatically underperforming; an economy, as a result of sanctions, as a result of a mass exodus from Russia that is in shambles. And [the Russian government has] sought to divide the West and NATO; of course, we’re seeing exactly the opposite.”
“The bottom line is this,” said Secretary Blinken: “We don’t know how the rest of this war will unfold, but we do know that a sovereign, independent Ukraine will be around a lot longer than [Russian President] Vladimir Putin is on the scene. And our support for Ukraine going forward will continue. It will continue until we see final success.”