The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba met U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun on his working trip to Ukraine.
They discussed a wide range of issues aimed at strengthening Ukraine-U.S. strategic partnership in areas of defense and security, energy, reforms, trade and investment, and others.
Dmytro Kuleba informed his American counterpart of the recent passing of the reformist law on state defense procurement. He expressed his sincere gratitude to the U.S. for its continued support of Ukraine’s defense capabilities, including readiness to transfer modern Mark VI patrol boats to Ukraine. He underlined that enhancing Ukrainian Navy capabilities remains one of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s top priorities.
The American side reiterated its continued ironclad support of Ukraine in countering Russian aggression and implementing reforms. Stephen Biegun assured that he shares a very optimistic view of the future of Ukraine-U.S. bilateral relations and stated that the U.S. sees Ukraine as a reliable partner. In his turn, Dmytro Kuleba underlined that Ukraine highly values the bipartisan support it enjoys in the U.S.
Counterparts paid specific attention to Europe’s energy security in the context of Russian Nord Stream 2 project. They agreed to further joint efforts to ensure that Europe’s energy supply remains diversified.
Dmytro Kuleba proposed to hold another meeting of the Strategic Partnership Commission adding new ambitious goals to Ukraine-U.S. bilateral agenda and received assurances that the U.S. side is principally interested in holding such a meeting.
Sides also discussed the situation in the temporarily occupied territories in the East of Ukraine and Crimea. Dmytro Kuleba informed his counterpart on Ukraine’s progress in establishing the Crimea platform which will be aimed at consolidating international efforts on de-occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula. He called on the U.S. to support the initiative and consider a possibility to join it.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated that Ukraine aims to further expand volumes of trade and investment between the two countries and also reminded of Ukraine’s invitation to American companies which might be leaving other countries to localize in Ukraine.
Dmytro Kuleba expressed his deep appreciation for the U.S. support of Ukraine’s response to COVID-19.
Counterparts discussed the situation in Belarus and its possible outcomes for the regional security. They stressed that Belarussian people have an unalienable right to decide their fate on their own and in the course of democratic elections. They also agreed that authorities of Belarus should prevent further violence and demonstrate will to find a peaceful resolution and negotiate with the opposition. Sides stressed that the future of Belarus should only be up to Belarussian people to decide and no outside powers may influence their choice.