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Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Before Their Meeting




PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY:  You’re very welcome, Mr. Secretary of State, colleagues.  Thank you so much.  Thanks for coming to Ukraine, especially these days.  It’s not a simple period for Ukraine and a tough period for the east of our country, for our warriors.  Thank you that you came, especially at these days, to support Ukraine.  Thank you for this signal. 

Also I wanted to thank you from all my team, all Ukrainians, to – crucial package for our forces, for our warriors.  Thank you so much for this package.  Thanks to Congress.  Thanks, President Biden, please best regards from us to him and to administration.  We are thankful for bipartisan support and I know you did a lot also for this positive decision, and of course we are thankful for this to Americans, to American people, so big appreciation from Ukrainians to Americans for this.

I want to discuss with you about some – today about some, I think, very important issues.  And first, the decision of the package was crucial for us, we’re able to get it as quick as possible, and the second one – point is the air defense, the biggest deficit for us.  I think that the biggest problem, yes, and we need, really we need today two batteries for Kharkiv, for Kharkiv region, because they are – the people are under attack.  Civilians and warriors, everybody they are under Russian missiles.

And of course, I want to discuss security guarantees, how our teams worked on it, and this summit which is very important for us.  We need the participation, not only United States, we need your – we need President Biden and also your help to involve as much as possible Congress to this summit.  I think, a lot of things, you’re very welcome.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, Mr. President, thank you very, very much.  And first, it’s very good to be back in Ukraine.  It’s very good to see you.  I bring, as well, warm greetings from President Biden.


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  All of us admire your extraordinary resilience, your endurance, your strength, your leadership.  And we know this is a challenging time, but we also know that in the near term the assistance is now on the way – some of it’s already arrived, more that will be arriving – and that’s going to make a real difference against the ongoing Russian aggression on the battlefield.  We’re determined along with many other partners of Ukraine to make sure that you succeed on the battlefield.

We’re equally determined that over time Ukraine stands strongly on its own feet militarily, economically, democratically.  A strong, successful, thriving, free Ukraine is the best possible rebuke to Putin and the best possible guarantor for your future.  And for all of that, the United States is and will remain a committed partner.  We’ve traveled a long road together these past couple of years, and we’ve seen the extraordinary courage of the Ukrainian people.  And we know that that courage endures, and that only reinforces our determination to do everything we can to help ensure your success.

As you’ve mentioned, there are a number of critical issues that are now before us for the months ahead, and we want to make sure that together as – along with many other partners that we make these next months successful, that we deal with the challenges that you have, and that we push through all of them and we do it together.  So I’m eager to discuss all of that with you, and thank you again for having us today.

PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY:  Thank you, press.  Thank you.