Biden reaffirms US support for Kiev: White House
US President Joe Biden renews his allegiance to supporting Ukraine during a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart.
US President Joe Biden reiterated Washington's support for Ukraine during a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to a White House statement.
"President Biden highlighted how the US is prioritizing efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense through our security assistance, including the December 9 announcement of $275 million in additional ammunition and equipment that included systems to counter the Russian use of unmanned aerial vehicles. President Biden also highlighted the November 29 announcement of $53 million to support energy infrastructure to strengthen the stability of Ukraine’s energy grid in the wake of Russia’s targeted attacks," the White House said on Sunday.
During the phone call with Zelensky on Sunday, Biden also reaffirmed the US commitment to continue providing security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Kiev while imposing costs on Russia.
"President Biden welcomed President Zelensky’s stated openness to a just peace based on fundamental principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter," the White House said.
In a video address posted on Telegram on Sunday night, Zelensky said he had "coordinated positions" during his phone talks with Biden and discussed defense and energy infrastructure issues with the US president.
This comes two weeks after the White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby stated that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is not ready for negotiations with Russia.
"President Zelensky... also has said he believes in a diplomatic solution, but he's not ready either. So we're just not at a point right now where talks seem to be a fruitful avenue to approach," Kirby said at a press briefing. Kirby also stated that the US is committed to ensuring that Ukraine continues to receive necessary security assistance.
On another hand, Kirby said Biden has not indicated that now is the time to hold negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the crisis in Ukraine. "The President wasn't at all indicating that this now is the time for talks," Kirby said during a conference call.
Biden said he was willing to talk with Putin if there was a sincere interest to end the conflict in Ukraine.