On April 2, U.S. President Joe Biden called his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss support of Ukraine in the face of the aggression of the Russian Federation as well as the reform agenda and the coronavirus pandemic. It was their first telephone conversation.
The press service of the White House informed, “President Biden affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea”.
President Biden assured Volodymyr Zelenskyy of the full support for Ukraine in its effort to fight corruption and implement reforms.
“He emphasized his administration’s commitment to revitalize our strategic partnership in support of President Zelenskyy’s plan to tackle corruption and implement a reform agenda based on our shared democratic values that delivers justice, security, and prosperity to the people of Ukraine. The leaders agreed these reforms are central to Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations”, said the press release of the White House.
The Presidents also discussed the importance of close United States-Ukraine cooperation to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen democracy in the region.
In commenting on the telephone conversation with his American counterpart, Zelenskyy stressed that Ukraine and the United States “stand shoulder to shoulder” to defend their democracies. “I was glad to talk with the President of the United States. Ukraine highly appreciates the support of the United States at different levels. We stand shoulder to shoulder when it comes to the protection of our democracies. I’m determined to reform Ukraine, to ensure transparency and achieve peace. American partnership has a decisive importance for Ukrainians”, he said.
Andriy Yermak, the head of the Office of the Ukrainian President, informed that President Biden during the 50-minute conversation with Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the United States’ support for Ukrainian reforms. “The President of the United States said that they are fully informed about everything that is going on in Ukraine and around it. He assured that the United States would not leave Ukraine without support”, said Yermak.
The Head of the White House did not called Zelenskyy until April 2. And as Politico wrote, the American President kept Ukraine “at arm’s-length quietly pushing it for further reforms”.
At the same time, Biden and his administration consistently support Ukraine. For instance, after his inauguration, he repeatedly expressed his support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, particularly during his telephone conversation with President Putin as well as at the Munich Conference and on the Day of Resisting Crimea’s Occupation. President Biden is well informed on the situation in “a country he spent years getting to know as vice president, and one that is a critical front in the west’s efforts to contain Russia”, Politico stressed.
Petro Poroshenko, the fifth President of Ukraine, commented on the talk Biden had with Zelenskyy, “This dialogue is very topical especially now that the Kremlin continues to increase aggression, build up its forces near the Ukrainian border”. Poroshenko went on to say, “Ukrainian struggle has received “the vaccine” against the Russian aggressor which is so indispensable and timely. And the Ukrainian authorities have received clear signals regarding expectations along the road of necessary reforms”.
In the opinion of Ukrainian journalist Vitaliy Portnikov, of great importance is the fact that “the conversation was held exactly now that the Ukrainian intelligence and representatives of NATO military structures inform that Russia is concentrating its troops along the border with Ukraine. And possibly it is preparing for some provocations or checking what the reaction of the United States might be. Now we can assert with confidence that the American President has shown that he does care about the Ukrainian theme and that the United States will not allow Russia to behave itself in Ukraine as if it were the continuation of Russia and not an independent sovereign state”.
The newspaper Voice of Ukraine