Joe Biden reassures Zelensky of continuous support

Joe Biden reassures Zelensky of continuous support WASHINGTON: In an effort to reassure Ukraine ahead of the US-Russia summit next week, American President Joe Biden reaffirmed Washington’s support to Kiev in a call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a White House briefing on Monday that Biden told Zelensky that “he will stand up firmly for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and its aspirations” and “looks forward to welcoming him to the White House here in Washington this summer”, reports Xinhua news agency.
The phone call came as Kiev raised concern about Biden’s June 16 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the US’ recent move on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany.
In a recent interview with Axios, Zelensky said he was “surprised” and “disappointed” by the US decision to waive sanctions against a company and its CEO behind the Nord Stream 2 project.
The Ukrainian leader had also expressed the hope to meet with Biden before the US-Russia summit.
Sullivan on Monday stressed that Biden’s meeting with Putin was not a reward for Russia, but an attempt to “manage our differences and to identify those areas where we can work in America’s interests to make progress”.
Meanwhile, he noted the Biden administration does not expect significant deliverables from the summit.
The relationship between the US and Russia is about verification instead of trust, Sullivan added.
“It’s about a relationship of clarifying what our expectations are and laying out that if certain kinds of harmful activities continue to occur, there will be responses from the US.”
Biden will begin the first foreign trip of his presidency later this week.
He will visit the UK from Wednesday to June 13 to attend the G7 Summit and hold bilateral meetings with the group’s leaders.
The President will then travel to Brussels, Belgium to participate in the NATO Summit, and then to Geneva for hhis meeting with Putin.
Relations between Washington and Moscow have been adversarial in recent years.
The two sides have obvious differences on issues related to Ukraine, cybersecurity, human rights, and US election interference.

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