July 15, 2024

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, and Andrii Yermak, Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, have held a meeting in Washington.

Source: US and Ukrainian communiqués

Details: The US State Department noted that Blinken and Yermak discussed the situation on the battlefield and preparations for winter, including the supply of additional air defence equipment and strengthening the protection of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure from air attacks.

The Ukrainian President’s Office noted that Yermak expressed his gratitude to the White House, both houses of Congress and the entire American people for the unprecedented assistance, adding that the US assistance was “critical to guaranteeing stability in our country and bringing victory closer”.

The Ukrainian communiqué mentioned that Yermak stressed the urgency of concluding a bilateral agreement between Ukraine and the United States on security guarantees as soon as possible within the framework of the G7 Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine, which the Allies signed as a framework document on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius.

They also discussed increasing sanctions pressure on Russia and developing a mechanism for using frozen Russian assets in Ukraine’s recovery. Another topic of discussion was the situation in the Middle East.

Background:

  • US President Joe Biden has been trying to persuade the US Congress to support aid to both Ukraine and Israel and to approve a new US$106 billion aid package, which includes more than US$61 billion in funding to help Ukraine.

  • However, Mike Johnson, the new speaker of the US House of Representatives, said Congress should consider the aid packages for Ukraine and Israel separately and that the “Ukrainian” package should be considered together with the allocation for border security with Mexico.

  • Over the weekend, Johnson introduced a bill to prevent a government shutdown without assistance to Ukraine and Israel.

  • The EU’s diplomacy chief suggested that US aid to Ukraine is likely to be reduced in the future, so EU countries should be politically prepared to continue supporting Ukraine.

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