Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Before Their Meeting
PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY: Dear Antony, Mr. Secretary, your team – you’re very welcome to have you and to host you today. And it’s important visit for us, for Ukrainians. And I think that (inaudible) visit (inaudible) the full-scale war and a supporting message to our whole society. Especially now when the war is here, this is a difficult challenge and difficult – a tough period for our society. And always the leaders of United States, when they come, that’s a great message of support.
Thank you so much. We are really thankful to you. We are very thankful to White House, to President Biden. Please pass that on to him from me. And we are thankful to bipartisan support, to Congress, that you show great unity around Ukraine. And you have different cases in the United States, but when we feel and when you speak about Ukraine you also – you’re always together. Thank you so much. It really helps us. First of all, it helps us on the battlefield, because United States really are the leaders of supporting on the battlefield. My appreciation. And we are happy that we can count on you, and you know that total society of Ukraine totally understands it and appreciate it.
And thank you very much as you help us with energy sector. Difficult winter was ahead. I don’t know, maybe if the difficulties or maybe we will have some new experience. We’ll see. But we are happy that we are not alone through this winter. We will go together with our partners.
Thank you, and of course thank you from our society that your financial support of our budget is crucial. Welcome.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY: Now it’s the (inaudible).
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Right there. Right in front of me.
PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY: Thank you.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Mr. President, it’s so good to see you; as always, to see the entire team. As you mentioned, this is my fourth visit to Ukraine since the renewed Russian aggression in 2022. And I, as always, am so struck by the courage, the strength, the resilience of the Ukrainian soldiers, the Ukrainian people, and the Ukrainian leaders.
We are determined in the United States to continue to walk side by side with you. And President Biden asked me to come, to reaffirm strongly our support, to ensure that we are maximizing the efforts that we’re making and other countries are making for the immediate challenge of the counteroffensive as well as the longer-term efforts to help Ukraine build a force for the future that can deter and defend against any future aggression, but also to work with you and support you as you engage in the critical work of strengthening your democracy, rebuilding your economy.
I know you were just on the front lines, and we’re all very eager to hear your assessment. And certainly we see the important progress that’s being made now in the counteroffensive, and that’s very, very encouraging.
I look forward to discussing a whole variety of issues that we have, and I know the President will look forward to seeing you in the near future.
Finally, can I just say it was very moving to be part of the event this morning that the first lady was leading. I think the work that she’s done on mental health is extraordinary, and we’re very proud to be part of that and to help. But it was very powerful to be there, because we know the toll that this horrific aggression has taken on so many Ukrainians in ways that are not visible, and the work, the leadership of the first lady in addressing that challenge is very inspiring.
Thanks for having us today.