Remarks by Vice President Harris and President Zelenskyy Before Bilateral Meeting

Commerzbank Filiale München
Munich, Germany

2:12 P.M. CEST

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  I’m looking forward to our conversation. As you know, this is a decisive moment in our world’s history. And this is an important meeting for that and many other reasons.

I look forward, in this discussion, to hearing directly from you about the situation on the ground in Ukraine.  I look forward to, in this way, also hearing from you about what your concerns are and also sharing with you information that we may have in a way that we will continue to work together.

This is also a chance for me to reiterate the position of the United States as it relates to Ukraine.  As I have said earlier today to our allies around the world, the United States take seriously the importance of the integrity and the territorial integrity of Ukraine and your sovereignty.  And the United States stands with Ukraine in this regard.

If Russia further invades your country, as I mentioned earlier today, we will impose swift and severe economic sanctions.  We have been clear about that.  We are also clear that we would prefer that this would be resolved in a diplomatic way, and we have remained open to a diplomatic path to resolution.

However, if Russia takes aggressive action against Ukraine, we are prepared to implement and to do that work in a unified way with our allies around the world.

Any threats to your country, we take seriously, and we have rallied our Allies and our partners to speak with one voice.  And those voices have been reflected throughout the course of these last couple of days and before.  So I look forward to our conversation.  And thank you.

PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY:  (As interpreted.)  Thank you very much, Madam Vice President.  And thank you for this meeting.  This is our first meeting, and I’m very grateful to you and to our team for having this opportunity to talk to you about the situation which is happening around our borders; about the risks and how to resolve this matter and, I do agree with you, in a peaceful and diplomatic manner, as we have been doing all eight years in a row.

We do clearly understand what is going on.  This is our land, and the only thing we want is to have peace, bring the peace back to our country.

And in this case, we are very grateful to the United States, to you personally, to our strategic partners, and President Biden.  We have had many meetings with the congressmen and Senate members.  And we are grateful for the bipartisan support of the United States.

Today, we do need specific steps, specific support.  We are getting support from you in supporting our defense capacity, our army.  This is something we are prepared to discuss and continue this dialogue because this is something that we are very interested in.

When I say “we,” I mean not only Ukraine, because our strong army is protecting Europe and we all want to be one unified body, one world which looks into the peaceful future.

As regards to the sanction policy, we are grateful to you for your understanding that sanctions may bring about peaceful resolution of this matter.  And I would like to share with you that what — how we see this, what we think the needs are, and what we think can work.

In any case, we believe in our own strengths and force, the support of our partners, our army.  And thank you very much again for this meeting.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Thank you.

END                 2:16 P.M. CEST