Blinken says support for Ukraine ‘will increase’ at border meeting

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks in a joint press availability with Fiji acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyumduring
Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo via Associated Press

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday met at the Ukraine-Poland border, where they discussed the West’s support of Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country.

“The entire world stands with Ukraine,” Blinken said. “Just as I am standing here in Ukraine with my friend.”

Blinken said that support for Ukraine will not only continue but that it “will increase,” including “security support, humanitarian support, economic support.”

He added that pressure on Russia will increase “until this war, this war of choice, is brought to an end.”

“I hope the people of Ukraine will be able to see this as a clear manifestation that we have friends who literally stayed — stand by us,” Kuleba said in response.

Kuleba said that Ukraine was thankful for the support the country has already received from allies, including the U.S.

“Well, we are satisfied with the already arranged supplies of anti-tank weapons and ammunition — this is one of the most badly needed — and we destroy a lot of Russian tanks and armored vehicles using weapons that came from our friends, including the United States,” he said.

Kuleba called for allies to continue their support for Ukraine by providing the country with “big air defense systems to ensure the safety of our skies.”

“If we lose the skies, there will be much, much more blood on the ground, and that will be the blood of civilians,” Kuleba said.

Kuleba also called for NATO to institute a no-fly zone over Ukraine, a request the alliance has resisted out of fear that doing so could provoke large-scale war in Europe.

“At certain points, some countries were saying: no, we can never supply you with weapons,” Kuleba said, comparing the back-and-forth over weapons to the current one over a no-fly zone. “But in the last eight days, the world politics were shattered by the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and those countries who had never supplied us with weapons are now doing so.”

“The time will come,” Kuleba said of NATO instituting a no-fly zone. “It’s, again, the issue of price. We do not — it’s Ukrainians, it’s the people of Ukraine who pay the price for the reluctance of NATO to act.”

“We want to do everything we can to make sure that that price is as low as possible and that this happens as quickly as possible,” Blinken responded. “But we’re in it with Ukraine one way or another … Ukraine is going to prevail.”

“We are talking about and working on everything,” Blinken added. “We’re doing that; Secretary of Defense [Lloyd] Austin and his counterpart [Ukrainian Defensive Minister Oleksii Reznikov] are doing that.”

Meanwhile, Kuleba indicated that Ukraine’s negotiations with Russia have not been productive.

“When it comes to the talks with Russians, I cannot say that there is any progress in it,” Kuleba said.

Tags Antony Blinken Dmytro Kuleba Russia-Ukraine conflict Vladimir Putin
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