PRIME MINISTER SHMYHAL: (Via interpreter) Your Excellency Secretary of State, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I’m very happy to welcome you to Kyiv. The United States – our strategic partner, our friend, and a huge supporter in the defense, military, humanitarian, and other spheres – we are very grateful for this mighty support and assistance extended to us by the American nation, by the American President, by all of the United States.
And I thank you very much for your personal efforts in assisting us in bringing closer our victory in this war, in withstanding this aggression of Russia. And here, the United States remains the huge supporter of direct budget support – one third of all direct budget support, of all the amounts given by our partners and friends from all over the world, are given by the United States. And we are grateful that this money arrives as grants because this does not affect the state debt of Ukraine, and this is a very important factor in these difficult times.
We would like to especially thank you for the support that the United States gives us together with the World Bank to ensure the project PEACE in Ukraine, which we initiated in June 2022. Within the framework of this project, Ukraine has already received 17.9 billion U.S. dollars, including 8 billion this year. All wages that are now paid in Ukraine in the public sector over the past year, including social and other programs, are funded through this fund – peaceful Ukraine fund. We appreciate this very much, and we also appreciate the assistance and cooperation with the American side on preparing the bilateral agreement on temporary suspension of serving the budget debt within the framework of the memorandum vis-à-vis our relationship with the Paris Club countries.
I would also like to thank you, during our conversation, for all the support in the military, sanction, and other directions – wide spectrum of all assistance and support. You also assist us in our preparation for the next heating season which is going to be very difficult. We are grateful for the support of the grain initiative. We have touched upon this briefly. Thank you for all the support that you extend to us in these difficult times.
When you were on your way to Kyiv, the Russians again reminded of themselves and time and again demonstrated their relationship to all of us, their attitude towards all of us and towards all the civilized world. So I thank you for your – for being brave, for standing with us, for working with us – this is to Her Excellency Ambassador – so we stand united. Thank you very much indeed.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Prime Minister, thank you very, very much. Thank you for receiving us today, but thank you for – most important – the day-in, day-out partnership that we have. I mentioned earlier this is my third visit to Kyiv since the renewed Russian aggression in February of 2022, and each and every time – and already today – I’m struck by the extraordinary resilience of the Ukrainian people, the strength of your military, and the very strong leadership that Ukraine has benefited from in this most difficult period.
And I’m here in large part at the behest of President Biden to reaffirm our commitment to stand with you – to stand with you to help ensure that you succeed militarily in dealing with the aggression, but also to stand with you to make sure that your efforts to build a strong economy and a strong democracy succeed, because all of those things – a military that’s capable of deterring and defending against further aggression, but also a strong democracy and a strong economy – are the difference between a Ukraine that survives, which it will, and a Ukraine that thrives, which it must and can. And we will be your partners in that effort, along with many other countries around the world.
So I’m grateful for this opportunity for this opportunity to assess where we are in each of those areas and to continue the work that we’re doing together. Thank you for having us today.