August 16, 2022

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Before Their Meeting

3 min read

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Brussels, Belgium

NATO Headquarters

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  It’s always a pleasure to be with my friend and colleague, Dmytro Kuleba.  It’s especially a pleasure to see him now, to see him in person, especially under the circumstances.  I just have to say, as we were saying in the NATO meeting that we just came from, Dmytro, your personal courage is emblematic of that of the Ukrainian people.  We have great admiration for you, for all of our Ukrainian friends in this incredibly difficult time.

But I think what you heard today from all of our allies and partners from the Asia-Pacific region as well was a tremendous sense of solidarity in support of Ukraine against Russia’s outrageous aggression, and doing everything that we can to continue not only to sustain our support to Ukraine, but to build on it; not only to continue the pressure that we’re exerting against Russia, but to build on it; and to see to it that Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence is fully asserted and protected in advance.

So there’s a lot of work that goes into that, but this was a very, very good opportunity to hear directly from you about your assessment of the situation on the ground, and then the work that we’re doing together between the United States and Ukraine but also amongst so many different countries that support Ukraine in this difficult moment.  So, good to see you, my friend.

FOREIGN MINISTER KULEBA:  Likewise.  We speak regularly, we meet regularly, and I appreciate that you and I can talk on literally any given moment when the need arises.  This is how a relationship between two real friends and strategic partners should evolve.

Ukraine is grateful to the United States for ironclad diplomatic and military support, and for the leadership in – of the United States in initiating, imposing, and enforcing sanctions against Russia.  I have told you once that the recipe of Ukrainian victory in this war – it’s the Ukrainian stamina plus Western weapons and sanctions against Russia.

And I am satisfied with the dynamics of our cooperation on weapons and on sanctions as well, but when it comes to sanction – to weapons – and this is the point that I made today to all allies – we have no doubts that in the end, Ukraine will get everything that it needs and will overcome all the reluctance and hesitation coming from some allies when it comes to specific weapons.  But the issue of timeline is crucial, and I’m looking forward to our conversation today to discuss the timeline of supplies of the weapons which are needed to defend Ukraine.

I would also like to thank you for reaching out to third countries who haven’t taken their firm stance on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and for explaining to them not only what happened – what is happening, but also the global repercussions of the Russian aggression against my country.  It’s important to mobilize the entire world that stands for democracy and respect of the rule-based order.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, everyone.

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