National Security Council
Kyiv, Ukraine

MR. YERMAK: (Speaks Ukrainian.) (No translation provided.)

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, thank you, Andriy. Thank you for your hospitality. Thank you for your partnership as we’ve worked through both the challenges and opportunities that have come before us over the course of these difficult past two years while Ukraine has been fighting so bravely against the imperial onslaught of the Russians.

I was here a year ago last month with President Biden on his historic visit to Kyiv one year after Russia’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine.

President Biden came here with a message of support for the Ukrainian people and also a message to the world in which he said that despite all of the predictions and despite all of the challenges posed by the brutal aggressor, Russia, Kyiv still stood, Ukraine still stood proud and free.

And now, one year later, two years after the beginning of this vicious assault on your sovereignty and territorial integrity, Kyiv still stands and Ukraine still stands. And it stands because of the bravery and the courage, the ingenuity and the tenacity of the Ukrainian people. And we are in awe of that in the United States.

And I’m here today to say: We believe in you. We believe you will prevail. We believe that you will build a brighter future for the Ukrainian people, a stronger democracy, a resilient, secure country that can repel future aggression. And we’re going to be your partner in that every step of the way.

I’m also here to say that you should believe in the United States. We have stood by your side since this war began. We have provided enormous support, and we will continue to do so every day in every way we know how.

Now, I know there are questions here because of the back and forth in our Congress and the months that have gone by without the supplemental bill coming through, the package of aid that you rightly deserve and that President Biden is fighting for every day — the $60 billion that the Senate has passed on a bipartisan basis and now we’re working with the House to pass.

But from our perspective, we are confident we will get this done. We will get this aid to Ukraine. And in the meantime, we’re not just waiting.

As Andriy mentioned, just last week we announced from the White House podium a package of $300 million of ammunition, air defense, and other critical supplies that are needed right now on the front lines, and we are rushing those supplies to you as we speak.

So we are going to do everything in our power to continue to support you and your efforts as you go forward.

And we will work with the rest of the world as well, a coalition of more than 50 nations standing strong in support of Ukraine, as you deal with this foe that continues to relentlessly assault you day in, day out.

And together we will work until Ukraine has prevailed.

And again, thank you for your hospitality, and I look forward to hearing your questions.

Q (Speaks Ukrainian.) (No translation provided.)

MR. YERMAK: (Speaks Ukrainian.) (No translation provided.)

Q (Speaks Ukrainian.) (No translation provided.)

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, I’ve stood at the White House podium and I’ve stood at other podiums and said Ukraine should win. I said here, today, Ukraine should prevail.

And what does that mean? That means that Ukraine emerges from this war sovereign, independent, and free, able to deter future aggression with a strong, vibrant democracy; with deep democratic institutions; with an economy that’s growing, not just in traditional industries but in high technology and the areas where you are innovating. Even in the face of Russian attacks, you are innovating.

That’s what winning means.

And from our perspective, we are going to work every day to make that happen.

Now, there’s a critical military dimension to that, meaning providing the necessary support, supplies, and weapons for Ukraine’s brave soldiers to be able to effectively do what they need to do on the battlefield.

There is the intelligence cooperation we have. There is the economic cooperation we have. There is the diplomacy that we do together to work on democratic reforms and economic reforms.

So this is a comprehensive, across-the-board, all-hands-on-deck effort for the U.S. government, directed by our President as a key priority of the United States to see Ukraine not just win, but succeed — succeed over the long term and thrive.

And that is something every Ukrainian deserves, but it’s also profoundly in the national security interest of the United States.

Q Thank you so much. My name is Monica. Thank you, Mr. Sullivan. I have a question for you.

First of all, is it true that the administration has authorized the long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine? And if so, when are they going to arrive?

And the second one: What does Russia’s loss look like for the U.S. administration?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, I’ll take your second question first.

We believe that Russia has already failed in this war. What did Russia set out to do? Wipe Ukraine off the map. Wipe the very idea of being Ukrainian from history. It has already failed at that. It failed in its assault on your capital because Ukrainians stood up and defended the capital. It failed to crush the democratically elected government of Ukraine. It failed to crush the spirit of the Ukrainian people.

And so, the designs set out by Putin and Russia at the start of this war have not been fulfilled and will never be fulfilled.

But that’s not enough. In the end, we need to see a circumstance in which Ukraine no longer suffers from the threat and the onslaught of the Russian military and where it can stand not just free and independent, but safe and secure as well. That’s what we’re going to work towards.

With respect to ATACMS, I’m going to disappoint you by saying I have nothing to announce here publicly today on that issue. When we do have something to share, we will be sure to share it.

But I will say that we have had very constructive discussions about our military support and the capabilities that are necessary to ensure that support is as effective as it could possibly be.

Q Thank you.

Q (Speaks Ukrainian.) (No translation provided.)

MR. YERMAK: (Speaks Ukrainian.) (No translation provided.)

MR. SULLIVAN: As I said in my opening comments, I’m confident that we will achieve plan A. We will get a strong bipartisan vote in the House for an assistance package for Ukraine. And we will get that money out the door as we should. So I don’t think we need to speak today about plan B.

The timing has already taken too long. And I know that, and you know that. I’m not going to make predictions about exactly when this will get done, but we are working to get it done as soon as possible. And President Biden is working this on a daily basis to try to deliver this package to the House. But I cannot make specific prediction today.

Q Thank you. I’m Siobhán O’Grady from the Washington Post. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Yermak, can you both respond to more specifically about the nature of your relationship and communication, and how often you speak each day?

And, Mr. Yermak, can you respond to various claims that you play an outsized role in the presidential office (inaudible) U.S. and foreign officials across all departments, sometimes even making ambassadors irrelevant?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, as Andriy said, we speak quite frequently. I couldn’t quantify precisely the number of times we speak in a given week. But we are checking in on a very regular basis by phone. We see each other in person at summits, at other events or visits to Washington, my visits to Kyiv.

And, really, it’s about getting down to brass tacks, because as Andriy said, there are a lot of very specific things that we need to work through in this partnership: the delivery of security assistance; where we are working together on economic cooperation and economic reforms; how we are approaching strategic issues and diplomatic issues, including what he was discussing earlier with respect to the diplomacy with the Global South.

This is a very high priority for President Biden and the United States that we do our part to be a good partner to Ukraine and to rally the world in support of Ukraine. And that requires a lot of hands-on, day-to-day management across our government and, frankly, across multiple different axes between the U.S. and Ukrainian governments.

Ambassador Brink is here in the front row. She plays a critical role in managing the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. Our foreign ministers, our defense ministers, our presidents are all engaged on a regular basis as well.

But Andriy and I do have responsibility across the whole suite of these issues — military, diplomatic, economic, strategic, tactical. So it’s only natural that we would be in very regular communication, which we are and have been since even before the war began.

MR. YERMAK: (Speaks Ukrainian.) (No translation provided.)

Q (Speaks Ukrainian.) (No translation provided.)

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, first, I believe that a strong majority of both Democratic and Republican members of Congress believe that already, actually.

And you saw that in the vote in the Senate — 70 senators voting in favor of that package. And when you do the vote count in the House, a strong bipartisan majority support it.

So there is a wide understanding in the United States that Ukraine matters, that the security and future of Ukraine matters to the security and future of the United States of America, and that we want to help a friend and a partner, but we also want to help ourselves in helping you.

Now, of course, there are politics and procedures and obstacles to getting this done, and I can understand how frustrating that is as you fight this war and seek further assistance.

But I want you to know that among members of Congress and among the American people, there continues to be a deep and strong reservoir of support for what you are doing, why it matters for your security and why it matters for our security. We’re going to continue making that case.

And you have no better advocates than the ordinary Ukrainian people who are out there every day showing the world why it matters, and your president and your government who advocate and fight on your behalf, who come to us and work in partnership to make sure we’re delivering on our part.

And so, I can’t ask you to do anything more than you’ve already been doing. Now it’s our job to deliver for you, and that’s what we intend to do.

MR. YERMAK: (Speaks Ukrainian.) (No translation provided.)


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