US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s support for Ukraine, which promised to “wait” on the part of the country in the face of Russia’s aggression during its two-day visit to Kiev.
This visit, one of the diplomats’ first overseas trips as Secretary of State, came a few weeks after Russia gathered more than 100,000 troops along the eastern border of Ukraine and in the Russian-occupied Crimea. come.
President Blinken addressed Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday, with the United States and its allies not allowing Russia to illegally merge the Crimean Peninsula, and Kiev’s conflict with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Donbus. Areas that said they would continue to provide military assistance as they entered their eighth year.
“We know that Russia has withdrawn some troops from the Ukrainian border, but we also see that important troops remain there and equipment remains there. We are very close to the situation, “Blinken said.
However, he also used talks to encourage Zelensky to speed up corporate governance reform and anti-corruption efforts, including a review of Ukraine’s graft-prone judiciary. Spending from the $ 5 billion IMF program has been frozen since last year due to concerns over the reform process.
US diplomats said Ukraine faces two challenges. .. .. Oligarchy and other people who prioritize their interests over the Ukrainians. “
Last week, the Ukrainian government expelled the board of auditors and chief executive officer of Naftogaz, a national gas company that had just announced a serious financial loss in 2020.
Zelensky wants a restart of US-Ukraine relations that shook after former President Donald Trump pressured Joe Biden’s son Hunter to investigate the commerce and triggered his first impeachment trial. The Ukrainian president described the meeting on Thursday as “very important and important.”
so Interview with the Financial Times Last month, Zelensky played a greater role in peace talks with Russian President Vladimir Zelensky, who aimed to end the war in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region and help Kiev regain control of Crimea. To the United Kingdom. Since 2015, France and Germany have led the peace talks.
Blinken added on Thursday that Russia “of course is not sincerely working to resolve both Crimea and Donbas” and “always looking for ways to see if there is an opportunity to move diplomacy forward.” It was.
Ukraine wants to obtain defensive weapons, including the Patriot missile, on top of the Javelin anti-tank Buster, the first US-approved deadly military aid to Kiev acquired under the Trump administration.
“We will continue to strengthen our security partnerships … to allow Ukraine to protect itself,” Blinken said without going into detail.
Biden will meet with Ukrainian anti-corruption activists and business representatives later Thursday.
Blinken promises US to “wait” for Ukraine
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