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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  It’s always a pleasure to be with my friend, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.  And this moment, of course, is of great consequence with what’s happening literally every moment in Ukraine on the battlefield, but in many ways as important as what we’re doing here in London, and that is a reconstruction conference in support of Ukraine that’s bringing together more than 50 countries, the private sector, and many others.  And that effort to help Ukraine rebuild so much of what has been destroyed by the Russian aggression, to make sure it emerges from this aggression is not only successful on the battlefield but also successful in having a strong economy integrated with Europe, with investment coming in, and with all of the necessary efforts being made to strengthen its democracy and to help it be inviting place for business – all of that is what we’re here to work on, to talk about.

And I think it’s a demonstration with more than 50 countries, Dmytro, of the powerful and enduring support for Ukraine, not only militarily but also economically and also in everything we’re trying to do to build the strongest possible democracy.  So we’re very pleased to be part of this and very pleased that Ukraine and our friends here are hosting this conference.

FOREIGN MINISTER KULEBA:  No phone call can replace an in-person meeting, and I think we should thank James for —

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Yeah.

FOREIGN MINISTER KULEBA:  — giving us the opportunity to catch up in person.  We always have a lot on our plate to discuss.  And yes, in two coming days we will be focused mainly on the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine.  And I would like to thank the United States for their steadfast commitment to making things happen, because it’s not enough just to have a plan of recovery.  It’s crucial to have a mechanism underpinning this plan, and the United States plays a very important role in helping us build – roll out this mechanism.

But, of course, today, we will also talk about other issues, such as the counteroffensive.  And I would like to thank the United States for helping us to prepare for this – for it, but also to ensure sustainability of deliveries necessary for our success on the ground.  NATO, I don’t – I don’t think we can skip that one; and engagement with the world on the issue of Ukraine’s peace formula, involving the peace formula summit.  There are many ideas of different peace initiatives popping up, and we’ve been engaging with African leaders recently who came back right straight from China.

But we, Ukraine, believe, as President Zelenskyy said, that since it was – since it was Ukraine who was attacked and the war is taking place in Ukraine, the Ukrainian peace initiative should be taken as a cornerstone for all the deliberations.  So thank you.  I’m very much looking forward to our conversation.

U.S. Department of State

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