Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had a one-on-one meeting. Immediately afterwards, the diplomats held a joint press conference. The heads of the U.S. and Ukrainian diplomatic missions shared their vision of the situation against the background of the growing tensions in relations between Ukraine and Russia, RBC-Ukraine reports.
Thus, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, since the beginning of the war with Russia, according to the plan of the latter, Ukraine should not exist as a state anymore. At the same time, our country already has a strong army, diplomacy and partners.
"We must not forget that this war of Russia against Ukraine has been going on since 2014. According to the original plan of the Russian Federation, we were no longer supposed to exist as a state, at least in the form in which Ukraine continues. Not only to exist, but also to develop," Kuleba noted
At the same time, since the beginning of the war with the Russian Federation, Ukraine has become even stronger thanks to a strong army, diplomatic capabilities and support from the international community.
At the same time, the diplomat stated that the conflict with Russia will be over only after Russian troops leave Donbas and Crimea. He also noted that if Russia is ready to resolve the situation, it should continue negotiations.
"All efforts now are aimed at Russia moving on the diplomatic path. The only solution to the conflict is diplomatic. If Russia really wants a political settlement, it must continue negotiations. This conflict will be resolved when the rest of the Russian soldiers leave Donbas, Crimea and Sevastopol," he said.
In turn, speaking about the reasons for the visit to Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that U.S. President Joe Biden asked for confirmation of support.
"Why did I come to Kiev? First and foremost, to reaffirm support for Ukraine facing Russian aggression... President Biden asked me to come to reaffirm support. We are continuing our diplomatic efforts to prevent a serious escalation," Blinken said, referring to the Russian troop surge on the Ukrainian border.
The U.S. secretary of state also said he plans to consult with Ukraine after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva.
"I will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Geneva on Friday. The purpose of the meeting will include what I discussed with Zelensky and Kuleba today. After that, we will also consult with Ukrainian partners and discuss next steps," Blinken added.
He stressed that the U.S. continues to resolve the conflict through diplomacy.
"I can't read Russian President Vladimir Putin's mind. But I have to say that we have to continue what we are doing... Russia is trying to impose its influence on its neighbors," Blinken said.
He said Ukraine and the U.S. should act on the factors at hand.
"Based on that and consultation with partners, we suggested two paths for Russia: diplomatic, to resolve things peacefully, and if Russia resumes aggression, the other path is conflict, which will have consequences. It has now become clear that diplomacy is preferred," said the U.S. Secretary of State.
As a reminder, earlier the Secretary of State said that the U.S. would prefer to resolve the situation around Ukraine peacefully.
In addition, Blinken earlier said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine could start in a very short period of time, as the Russian troops are being pulled down near the borders at a rapid pace