Sep 1, 2021
Joe Biden & Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky Bilateral Meeting Transcript
President Joe Biden met with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, on September 1, 2021. Read the transcript of their remarks to the press here.
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Joe Biden: (00:00)
It’s an honor and a pleasure to welcome President Zelensky to the White House, to the Oval Office.
Speaker 2: (00:13)
Joe Biden: (00:13)
As we celebrate 30 years of Ukrainian independence, the partnership between foundations goes stronger and it’s going to even become stronger than it has been.
Speaker 2: (00:31)
Joe Biden: (00:32)
Ukraine and the United States have a similar value system and the strong commitment to the fulfillment of a promise that we hope all will come forward, and that is a Europe whole, free, and at peace.
Speaker 2: (00:45)
Joe Biden: (00:45)
And the United States remains firmly committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression and, and our support for Ukraine’s Euro Atlantic aspirations.
Speaker 2: (01:15)
Joe Biden: (01:17)
Today, we’re going to discuss how the U.S. can continue to support Ukraine as it advances its democratic reforms agenda and moment toward it completely integrated in Europe.
Speaker 2: (02:01)
Joe Biden: (02:02)
We’re revitalizing the Strategic Partnership Commission between our nations, and we’re also creating a new strategic defense framework and a new $60 million security systems package.
Speaker 2: (02:15)
Joe Biden: (02:29)
As well as a new energy and climate dialogue to help Ukraine diversify its energy supplies while supporting our climate goals relating to global warming.
Speaker 2: (02:56)
Joe Biden: (02:56)
And of course, we’ll talk about our ongoing fight against COVID-19 and the United States has donated 2.2 million vaccines to Ukraine through COVAX, and we’re going to continue to work to provide more as well.
Speaker 2: (03:30)
Joe Biden: (03:30)
We have much to talk about, and I still remember the opportunity that I had to speak to Volodymyr years ago, and I look forward to being able to come back someday to see you.
Speaker 2: (03:45)
Joe Biden: (04:01)
Speaker 2: (04:02)
Volodymyr Zelensky: (04:09)
Thank you very much, Mr. President.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (04:29)
First of all, I would like to great you, ladies and gentlemen as representatives of the journalist community and I would like to thank President Biden for his invitation and the difficult times for the world and for the United States, for Ukraine still. You found time for us and we are very grateful for this, indeed.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (04:48)
And of course, the United States, our strategic partner’s tenacious supporter of our sovereignty and our territorial integrity. And I would like to use this occasion to thank President Biden personally for following our conversation on the phone and dispatching the more than two million vaccines to save Ukrainian lives.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (05:38)
More than two million.
Speaker 4: (05:41)
Volodymyr Zelensky: (05:53)
And thank you for the $60 million program for defense development of Ukraine till the end of this year, we appreciate this contribution.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (06:15)
And Mr. President, accept my sincere condolences because of the tragic death your heroes who were trying to save human lives in Afghanistan and sacrificed their own.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (06:31)
We are very compassionate and we have the fellow feeling for such losses, such tragic losses. Because for eight years in a row, as you know, we’ve had this war in the Ukrainian Donbas and we have lost 15,000 of our best people.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (07:20)
Well, I have a very big agenda for our relations. Maybe not for this meeting, which is too short to answer all the questions, but they are all of a big importance for our both countries, I believe. But at least we have to focus very much and now on the security issue, which is the most important on this agenda.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (07:40)
And security in Donbas, the Ukrainian Donbas in the Ukraine Crimea temporarily, as we believe, occupied by the Russian Federation, security in the Black Sea and security in the Azov Sea region.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (08:18)
And of course, the security issue, energy security this time. Because we are very much constrained, as you are, with the commissioning of possible commission on the Nord Stream 2.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (08:41)
And I would like to discuss with President Biden here now, his vision, his government’s vision of Ukraine’s chances to join NATO, and the timeframe for this accession if it is possible? And the role the United States can play in being involved in a peaceful settlement in Donbas that we would love to reach.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (09:13)
And last but not least, the economic block, because we came to Ukraine. We came to office to transform Ukraine. So we called our program a transformation program and we would like to discuss the role that the United States would like to play in this transformation and economic revival of our country.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (10:01)
And finally, a very sensitive issue of this morning, Mr. President, we handed over to your representatives a list of prisoners. Prisoners held in the temporary occupied Donbas and the temporarily occupied Crimea. In the Russian Federation, their territory in Moscow, there are 450 people, maybe more, which are held there. And we would like to have your assistance in freeing them and bringing them back to their country.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (10:57)
Thank you very much.
Joe Biden: (10:58)
Thank you. We have much to talk about.
Volodymyr Zelensky: (10:59)
Joe Biden: (10:59)
Thank you all very much. [Crosstalk 00:11:00]