10:38 04.10.2021

Kuleba: Meeting of Commission on strategic Ukraine-U.S. partnership to be held at late October - first half of November

4 min read
Kuleba: Meeting of Commission on strategic Ukraine-U.S. partnership to be held at late October - first half of November

The meeting of the Commission on strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United States will take place in late October - early November, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.

"I think that the meeting of the Commission will take place approximately at the end of October - the first half of November. There is no date yet. We have two tasks. First, we need to reboot this body, make it stronger, more effective. We have developed our own vision of how to do it and we will discuss it with the Americans. Secondly, we must adopt a new Charter of strategic partnership that will meet modern realities," Kuleba said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

According to him, the Strategic partnership commission is the driving force of bilateral relations.

"Leaders can meet, agree, but if the systems on both sides do not start turning the wheels, then no one will go anywhere. The Strategic Commission is the place where both sides turn the wheels so that big political, economic and humanitarian agreements are being prepared, and after adoptions are implemented," the minister explained.

Kuleba indicated that representation in the Commission will remain at the level of the U.S. Secretary of State and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

"The fact is that, frankly speaking, I believe that if we go to a higher level, then we need only the format of the presidential council, that is, presidents. In my opinion, we should move away from the model when the interlocutor of the President of Ukraine is the vice president of the United States. This is the issue of the status of bilateral relations. That is, if we are strategic partners, then we need a mechanism of regular consultations between the presidents. This is my position as a minister. If it comes to restoring this body, I will insist on just such a model," said the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

When asked what the plan for the transformation of Ukraine was, which was presented in Washington, Kuleba replied that it "was developed as a set of investment projects where Ukraine, together with partners, can do good things for the development and transformation of Ukraine."

The minister indicated that he is not yet aware of the specific steps that are being taken to appoint the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

"They promise [appointment of the ambassador], but so far, apart from rumors, I do not know anything about the specific steps that are being taken in this direction. But it seems to me that Mrs. Kvien [U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien] is still effectively representing the interests of the United States in Ukraine," he said.

Kuleba stressed that the most important thing for Ukraine now is that in the US State Department, in principle, a team is finally formed that is responsible for Ukraine.

"And such appointments began to take place. It is important for me that the entire State Department works for Ukraine, and not just one special representative of the State Department," he said.

Kuleba also said that the United States had always played an active role in curbing Russian aggression and de-occupation of Ukrainian territories, continues to play it and will play it, and in what format is a secondary issue.

When asked to confirm or refute the point of view that at the summit of the leaders of the United States and Russia in Geneva, certain agreements were reached on maintaining the status quo, that is, on the refusal of both countries from sharp movements relative to each other, both in informational, political and military terms, the minister indicated that he believes that there was no such agreement.

"I think that there was no such agreement, but both sides will desperately try to restrain themselves from abrupt steps. I use the term desperately because I think that it will be very difficult for Russia to keep this line, and, in the end, it will make some step that will force the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to respond. But from my communication with the Americans and what I heard and felt during the president's visit to Washington, I do not see the intentions of the American side to take any first aggressive steps towards Russia," he said.