Washington expresses commitment to further develop relations with Ukraine, assures on the outcomes of his visit to the United States of America Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba.
Summing up the visit, the official noted: "It was good to hear from our US colleagues the high appreciation of the Ukrainian reforms carried out after the elections. Ukraine is grateful to the US Congress for providing $ 300 million as military support to Ukraine, which is by 50 million more than last year and includes $ 100 million for lethal weapons. Also critical to the energy security of Europe is the sanctions approved by the US Congress against Nord Stream-2. These decisions, as also my meetings, have shown that despite some turbulence, there is every reason to further develop a strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United States. Ukraine will not allow anyone or anything to harm this strategic partnership since Kyiv and Washington are natural allies in today's highly competitive and harsh world."
Dmitry Kuleba paid a working visit to the United States: on December 11-13, he held a series of meetings in Washington with members of Congress from both parties and senior administration officials - with U.S. Senators Chris Murphy, Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jim Risch, U.S. Representatives Andy Harris, Marcy Kaptur, Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs at National Security Council Andrew Peek, U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent, U.S. Strategic Advisor on the reform of the Ukrainian defense industry Donald Winter.
During the visit, there also took place meetings with World Bank Vice President Cyril Muller and Ukraine’s Representative in the IMF Vladislav Rashkovan. Moreover, the Deputy Prime Minister participated in two events: a closed political discussion at the Atlantic Council and an open public event at the German Marshall Fund and spoke with the Ukrainian and American press.
Among the key topics of the meetings were energy security of Europe, Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, provision of military assistance envisaged by the new defense budget to our country, progress in Ukrainian reforms with special emphasis on the fight against corruption and further development of strategic partnership between Ukraine and the USA.
The parties paid special attention to discussing the outcome of the recent Normandy Format meeting and agreed on the assessment of its results and further prospects for the settlement of the armed conflict in the east of Ukraine ignited by Russia.
Dmytro Kuleba received assurance that the sanctions included in the defense budget law would be passed by the US Senate as soon as possible, signed without the delays by the US President, and implemented unless the companies that are laying pipes for the Nord Stream 2 project suspend its activities subject to sanctions.
At the meetings with members of Congress, Dmytro Kuleba spoke in favor of the passage of a draft US law on energy security in Europe, which will be considered shortly. It will provide about $ 1 billion to US companies to build energy infrastructure in Central and Eastern Europe, including Ukraine. This will allow to diversify natural gas flows and to reduce dependence on Russian energy resources. Dmytro Kuleba stressed the strategic importance of energy diversification in Europe. "It is not just about Ukraine, but about the strategic balance throughout the entire region, in particular, about Russia's influence in Central Europe and the Western Balkans," he said.