Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Meet Ahead of NATO Summit

Washington, D.C. 

Secretary Blinken: Good afternoon, everyone. It is, as always, a great pleasure to have my colleague and friend, Dmytro Kuleba, here as we start the NATO summit. This summit will further strengthen Ukraine’s ties to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its path to membership. We’ve done a lot of work in recent weeks and months, and I think you’ll see a very strong package emerge from the summit for Ukraine.

More broadly, we’ve been working closely to ensure Ukraine has what it needs to stand strongly on its own militarily, economically, and democratically. Ukraine’s success as a strong, independent country is the best possible rebuke to the aggression by Putin and Russia against Ukraine, including the recent attack on the largest children’s hospital in Kyiv. I visited this remarkable facility a couple of years ago and met children who were victims of Russian aggression and others suffering from cancer and other illnesses.

This despicable attack underscores the ongoing aggression. Our commitment – and the commitment of dozens of countries around the world – to Ukraine and its defense continues. This will be manifested in very concrete ways over the next few days at the NATO summit.

Foreign Minister Kuleba: Thank you, Antony. It’s always good to see you. We are hours away from the beginning of the NATO summit and from the heinous missile attack by Russia on Ukraine, including the most important children’s hospital in our country. This attack on Ukraine’s future – because children are our future – shall not remain unresponded to. I look forward to our discussion on how we can further strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities. Thank you for what has already been done and your personal role in rallying the world to ensure the delivery of necessary equipment to Ukraine.

I will raise the point about possible U.S. assistance in rebuilding and re-equipping this hospital. We need to relaunch it as soon as possible. There are children who need daily support, surgeries, and other procedures. They have to continue.

On NATO, we seem to be set before a very important gathering of leaders. Thank you for working diligently on air defense agreements and the assistance that NATO will be providing to Ukraine. This is all essential. I’m looking forward to continuing our partnership and cooperation.

Secretary Blinken: Thank you, Dmytro. Thanks, everyone.