The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on Wednesday approved the draft decree on the signing of an agreement between the government of Ukraine and the government of the United States on projects in the field of research, developments, testing and evaluation, the authority to sign the agreement was given to Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andriy Taran, according to the Press and Information Office of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
“The signing of this agreement will give the Ukrainian side the opportunity to: conduct joint research and development work on the development of weapons and military equipment, their individual components; obtain information about advanced defense technologies, trends in their development; conduct of tests and testing of military equipment using equipment and technologies that are not available in Ukraine,” the office said.
The agreement also opens up the possibility of attracting foreign funding for research work by Ukrainian research institutions, as well as increasing the research potential of Ukraine through cooperation with partners in joint projects.
The ministry said that the implementation of the agreements will take place under project contracts within the framework of the agreement concluded between the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the U.S. Department of Defense.
“The signing of the Agreement is planned during the visit of the President of Ukraine to the United States and will be another important step in the development of strategic partnership with the United States in the field of armaments,” the Defense Ministry said.
U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien returned to Ukraine after a two-week vacation, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said.
“Welcome back, Chargé d’Affaires Kvien! And thanks to Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, who filled in as Chargé the last two weeks,” the embassy said on Twitter on Tuesday.
The U.S. administration will soon announce the dates of the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
“The dates are not yet known. We were offered the end of July, but we have not yet received specific days when this visit will take place. However, we are waiting for confirmation of the date soon. The U.S. administration is already actively working with us to prepare this visit,” Kuleba told journalists on the sidelines of the Ukraine 30. International Relations forum in Kyiv on Monday.
According to him, the focus of the visit will be the issue of security, that is, the Normandy format, Donbas, Crimea, the issue of U.S. investments in Ukraine and the trade development, as well as the issue of reforms in Ukraine.
“But besides the meeting with the U.S. administration, there will be many other events. There will be contacts through the IMF, there will be meetings with the community, with American business. Therefore, this is not just a visit to President Biden – this is a visit to the United States in a broad sense,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs said.
As reported, Biden invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Washington this summer.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has approved $150 million in assistance to Ukraine to strengthen its defense capabilities, including training and advisory efforts, according to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.
“New $150 million package for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, including training, equipment and advisory efforts to help Ukraine’s forces preserve the country’s territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve NATO interoperability,” the embassy said on Twitter.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the U.S. side for the decision.
“Grateful to the White House for this important contribution to saving lives of our soldiers and strengthening capabilities of the Ukrainian army,” the president said on Twitter.
U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (Democratic Party), Chris Murphy (Democratic Party) and Rob Portman (Republican Party) have pledged bipartisan support to Ukraine.
At a briefing following a meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Wednesday, Shaheen said the senators paid this visit to express their bipartisan support to the people of Ukraine, independence and the progress that Ukraine has made in reforms, and they had a very effective meeting with the President of Ukraine.
According to her, their meeting with the president started with a briefing from people from the area of combat operation about the current situation there.
Shaheen said the senators have a very clear picture of the challenges that Ukraine’s troops and everyone on the front face. This will help them so that when the senators return to the United States, they talk about the continuing need to support Ukraine’s efforts.
Senator Rob Portman said they discussed with the president the importance of strengthening relations between Ukraine and the United States, providing even more effective military assistance so that Ukraine can defend itself.
Portman said they also talked about other assistance that the United States can provide, namely, in the area of economy, reform and countering Russian disinformation.
Senator Chris Murphy (Democratic Party, Conneticut) said that many have been done in Ukraine in a short period of time, but many serious challenges are still facing Ukraine. He said that the three senators will persuade colleagues in the Senate of the need to continue providing security assistance to Ukraine.
Murphy also said that ongoing reforms are also important to the U.S.-Ukrainian partnership. The senators spoke with President Zelensky about some specific reforms, namely reforming the SBU, guaranteeing NABU independence and continuing corporate governance reform.
Senator Shaheen said that Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran briefed the senators about Ukraine’s needs for weapons, and assured that she would inform Congress and the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden about them.
She also said that today the senators met with the Ukrainian defense minister, he was very specific about Ukraine’s weapons needs. The senators will convey this message to Congress and the administration in Washington, and they promised to continue supporting Ukraine’s security.
Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai agreed to hold a Trade and Investment Council.
“We talked about the need to strengthen dialogue on climate change, non-tariff rules for industrial and food products both in the context of strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO) and on the bilateral track. We agreed to hold a Council on Trade and Investment and talk,” Kachka wrote on Facebook on Wednesday following a discussion with Tai on key trade issues held on May 11.
During the conversation, Tai expressed support for the idea of free production of vaccines (waiver), he said.
“We expressed our support. Ukraine is ready to act as a compressor of the waiver initiative and to convince the EU that it is necessary,” Kachka said.
With regard to duties on metallurgical products, the United States, according to Kachka, is ready to seek an individual approach to metal trading in order to overcome the problem of overcapacity.
“We explained that the duties and the EU measures applied later ended in the opposite direction in terms of overcapacity [excess capacity]. In general, Ukraine is more likely a partner of the West in transforming metallurgy,” Ukrainian trade representative added.