Beatriz Pascual Macias |
Warsaw (EFE).- The president of the United States, Joe Biden, does not want to celebrate another anniversary of the war in Ukraine and looks to the future with the hope that his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodímir Zelenski, can strengthen his position as much as possible before any type of negotiation with Russia.
This was stated in an interview with EFE by John Kirby, the communications coordinator for the White House National Security Council and who has become one of the most visible faces of the Biden government due to his frequent press conferences.
On the occasion of the anniversary of the start of the contest on the 24th of this month, Kirby took stock of the impact he has had on the world and highlighted the message of support that Biden sent to the Ukrainian people on Monday with his visit to Kiev.
ASK: Why did Biden make the decision to travel to kyiv? How did she feel about being there?
ANSWER: Biden was proud and glad to visit kyiv, just as the anniversary of that conflict approaches. Nobody wants to celebrate another anniversary of the war. Obviously we would like it to end as soon as possible, but unfortunately it seems that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not willing to do that. That is why Biden went to kyiv. He wanted to convey to the Ukrainian people that the US is going to be by their side for as long as it takes.
P: You just mentioned that Washington will be with Ukraine “as long as it takes” and Biden often mentions that phrase, but what do you mean? “As long as it takes” to achieve what exactly?
R: As long as it takes to make sure Zelensky is in the strongest possible position when he decides, and only if he decides, that the time has come to negotiate with Putin. We have said it many times, this war could end today. There was no reason for this to start. Putin can end the war today. He chose this war and he can choose to do the right thing and leave the country. It seems that this is not going to happen and therefore we have to make sure that Zelenski is in the best possible position.
Biden’s compromise with NATO
P: Given this situation that you describe and that the war seems to continue. What is Biden’s opinion? Is there anything the president regrets or thinks could have been done differently over the past year?
R: Since the war started last year, the president has focused on two very important things. The first is to help Ukraine. No one surpasses the US in providing military and financial support to Ukraine in the past year. The second has been to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank and make it clear to Putin, to the world, and certainly to our allies, that we take Article 5 of mutual defense very seriously. When this war started there were 80,000 US troops on the European continent, now there are 100,000, and the President has devised a plan to maintain that number for the foreseeable future.
P: You just mentioned NATO. How does Biden see the unity of NATO and the European Union for the future?
R: The EU and NATO continue to be fully united against Putin, holding accountable and helping Ukraine. Mr. Putin believed that by weaponizing energy and food, he was going to break those alliances; but all he has done has been to reinforce them. NATO is now stronger than ever and may soon be joined by the armed forces of two other countries: Finland and Sweden.
China plans to send weapons to Russia
P: Turning to China, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday he had evidence the Asian country is considering sending weapons to Russia. What kind of evidence does the US have?
R: I can’t go beyond those comments except to say that China has to choose. Obviously, we would prefer China to side with the rest of the international community and condemn what Putin is doing in Russia, respect the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, and help the rest of the world isolate Putin. However, China has not done that. And their calls for peace to be negotiated are pretty empty, considering that China has not seriously joined the world in condemning this war.
Latin America and the delivery of arms to Ukraine
P: Finally, I wanted to ask you about Latin America. The Pentagon announced in January that it was in talks with some Latin American countries so that they handed over to the US material acquired in Russia and thus be able to solve the arms supply problem suffered by the Ukrainian forces. What state are these negotiations in? Has any Latin American country agreed to hand over its old Russian weapons to the US?
R: I cannot give you information at this time about the response of any Latin American country, or about any type of transaction. But I will say that all those decisions that are made to help Ukraine are sovereign decisions and each nation has to make its own decisions, and see how far to help the Ukrainian government. We want as many countries as possible to support Ukraine, but we also respect and understand that they have to make their own decisions based on their own security.