Secretary of State visits Kiev amid impeachment proceedings
KYIV – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during his visit to Kiev, assured that Washington supports Ukraine, while the two countries seek to smooth relations amid impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
“Pompeo assured Ukraine that the United States fully supports it in terms of ending Russian aggression and restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in full,” the Ukrainian side said after Pompeo’s meeting with Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.
Ukraine relies on diplomatic support and military assistance from Washington. Kiev wants to buy Javelin anti-tank missiles and other equipment, while the fight against pro-Russian separatists continues in the east of the country, which has already claimed more than 13,000 lives.
“The United States has unwavering support for Ukraine, and I want to emphasize this by meeting with Ukrainian government leaders to discuss ways to develop our strategic partnership and strengthen Ukraine’s position as a free and democratic state,” Pompeo tweeted upon arrival..
Later, at a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Pormpeo stressed: “I came here with a clear message: the United States views Ukraine’s struggle for freedom, democracy and prosperity as a courageous struggle. Our support for this fight will be unwavering. “.
Answering a question from an AP correspondent about whether the date of the visit of Ukrainian President Zelensky to the White House is linked to the investigation of corruption in the Burisma company, in which the son of Vice President Biden worked, Pompeo noted that there is no connection and that the exact date of Zelensky’s visit to Washington will be determined at the time when it will be most convenient in the framework of further productive US-Ukrainian cooperation in various fields.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, for its part, said that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko and Pompeo had held a “very constructive meeting” in Kiev, and the parties’ disposition to deepen the strategic partnership was confirmed..
This was announced on Twitter on January 31 by the press secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine Ekaterina Zelenko.
“A very constructive meeting of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Kiev,” Zelenko wrote.
She listed the topics that were raised during the talks: further deepening the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine, promoting military-economic cooperation and strengthening bipartisan support for the United States in Ukraine.
Following a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that “Ukrainians should know that Ukraine is an important country.”.
“The President and I were able to negotiate relations between Ukraine and Russia, the United States protects the sovereignty of Ukraine, its territorial integrity, we continue to support Ukraine in its desire to join NATO and the European Union. We resumed the work of the US-Ukraine Commission on Strategic Partnership, issued the Crimea Declaration, which clearly states that Crimea is a part of Ukraine. The United States will never recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea, “said Mike Pompeo at a joint press conference with Zelensky, which was broadcast on January 31 by the Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty..
He also noted that financial support for Ukraine to ensure the security sector will continue.
“We will look for diplomatic solutions and also solutions to ensure the security of Ukraine. We will never support anything other than Ukrainian control over the sovereign territory. We will continue to pursue diplomatic solutions to issues regarding Russia, ”said the US Secretary of State.
A new step in relations between Ukraine and the United States
Following the talks with Pompeo, President Zelensky stressed that “support for Ukraine has a broad bipartisan consensus in the US Congress.”.
“This is evidenced, in particular, by the volume of assistance programs for 2020, which amounts to almost seven hundred million dollars,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said..
He noted that US $ 365 million in security assistance will significantly enhance Ukraine’s defense capabilities. “We appreciate your support in reforming the Armed Forces of Ukraine, supplying weapons and equipment, conducting military exercises for Ukrainian units,” the President of Ukraine emphasized..
Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is ready to consider the possibility of purchasing weapons to strengthen the Naval Forces and air defense.
“Ukraine is ready to develop new forms of partnership with the United States in the field of security,” the Ukrainian president said..
The head of state noted that “we have very good relations between our countries, the question is not only in words”.
“It seems to me that we have a new step in our relations, new sensations, we meet a lot,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed..
Recall that Pompeo is visiting the UK, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from January 29 to February 4, 2020. “In Minsk, February 1, the Secretary of State will meet with President Lukashenko and Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei to underline the US commitment to a sovereign, independent, stable and prosperous Belarus and reaffirm our desire to normalize our bilateral relations,” the statement on the State Department’s website says. USA.
An information sheet on the page of the US Embassy in Ukraine notes that the United States supports Ukraine in its opposition to Russian aggression and disinformation, and its reform efforts to root out corruption..
“Since 2014, the United States has provided Ukraine as a whole more than $ 3.3 billion in aid, including assistance in security and other sectors, as well as three sovereign guarantees of $ 1 billion each,” the message says..
The Secretary of State will also meet with Metropolitan Epiphanius, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, leaders of public opinion and business representatives, and will also take part in a wreath-laying ceremony in memory of Ukrainians who have become victims of the conflict in Donbass, defending their homeland from Russian aggression.
The State Department statement emphasizes that the United States and Ukraine share a desire for democratic values, sovereignty and prosperity. Since December 25, 1991, when the United States recognized Ukraine’s independence, Washington has always “supported the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to build an independent, democratic, prosperous … Ukraine, united around core Euro-Atlantic values, secured within internationally recognized borders and stable to Russian aggression, “the statement reads..
The State Department recalled the joint work being carried out in Washington and Kiev to combat Russian influence. The United States supports Ukraine in countering Russian aggression and disinformation campaigns, helping the country fight corruption. Since 2014, the United States has provided a total of over $ 3.3 billion in assistance to Ukraine, both in the field of security and in other areas. In addition, the United States has provided three government-guaranteed loans three times during this time for $ 1 billion each..
The United States still considers Crimea to be part of Ukraine, and Russian attempts to annex the peninsula will never be recognized as legitimate. The Trump administration has taken unprecedented steps to hold Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine. Since January 2017, the US authorities have imposed sanctions on 168 people and companies in connection with the Crimean annexation.
On the eve of the first anniversary since the announcement of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the United States thanked Metropolitan Epiphanius for ensuring the openness of the church for all Orthodox believers, the State Department said in a statement..
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