President Joe Biden promised that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would “stand up” for Ukrainian sovereignty when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16.
Biden called on Zelensky on Monday afternoon confirming the US’s “unwavering commitment” to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of the ongoing Russian invasion in Donbus and Crimea, Jen Psaki said. White House spokesman said. statement..
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that Biden told reporters, “He is looking forward to welcoming him to the White House this summer when he returns from Europe.” It was.
A few days after Mr Zelensky said he was “disappointed” in the decision to lift sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the U.S. policy shift essentially provided Russia with a “bullet.” Said.
“We were very surprised,” Zelensky said. Told to Axios Last month, the Biden administration decided to withdraw sanctions on the company and its CEO, which oversees the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project.
Approximately 95% complete, the pipeline doubles the capacity of existing Nord Stream ducts to deliver gas from Russia to Europe via Germany under the Baltic Sea, undermining Europe’s energy security. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin completed the first line of the two lines on June 3, and the majority of Russia’s state-owned energy company Gasprom is “ready to fill Nord Stream 2 with gas.” It’s done. “
“Nord Stream 2, according to our understanding, not only in Europe, but also in the United States as our strategic partner, according to our understanding of security, we understand that this is a weapon, a true weapon. It’s … and it’s by the Russian Federation, “said Zelensky.
“It’s hard to understand that the bullets for this weapon could come from a great country like the United States.
At the end of 2019, Congress and the Trump administration imposed sanctions on many entities involved in the construction of the $ 10.5 billion pipeline. Sanctions are part of the Defense Authority Act, Russia “minimizes its ability” to use Nord Stream 2 “as a tool of coercion and political influence”, Russia shifts energy exports from Ukraine to Ukraine The goal was to prevent them from doing so. Other countries. Russia has vowed to continue the project despite the implementation of these sanctions.
Russia has so far stopped supplying fuel to Ukraine and parts of Europe in the winter in a price dispute.
The Ukrainian president said Biden provided him with a “direct signal” that the United States was ready to block the pipeline. The White House said in January that the president considers the pipeline a “bad deal for Europe.”
Biden was opposed to the project from the beginning, but the pipeline was nearing completion, citing the importance of a good relationship with Germany.
Zelensky said he understands the importance of US-German relations, but said, “How many Ukrainians do the US-German relations cost?”
Biden and Putin are expected to “discuss the full range of imminent issues with the aim of restoring the predictability and stability of US-Russian relations” next week, Saki said. It was.
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.