U.S. President Joe Biden has called on partners to stand up for Ukraine, which has been suffering against Russian aggression.
"The Kremlin attacks our democracies and weaponizes corruption to try to undermine our system of governance. Russian leaders want people to think that our system is more corrupt or as corrupt as theirs. But the world knows that isn't true, including Russia's own citizens. Putin seeks to weaken the European project and our NATO Alliance. He wants to undermine the Trans-Atlantic unity and our resolve because it's so much easier for the Kremlin to bully and threaten individual states than it is to negotiate with the strong and closely united Trans-Atlantic community," Biden said, speaking at the virtual Munich Security Conference on Friday, February 19.
"That's why standing up for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine remains a vital concern for Europe and the United States," he stressed.
That's why, he added, addressing "Russian recklessness and hacking into computer networks in the United States, and across Europe, and the world has become critical to our collective security."
Earlier, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said preparations were underway for the first call between President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Joe Biden.
On February 1, 2021, Kuleba and newly-appointed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke over the phone and agreed to make bilateral partnership more ambitious.
Blinken said, among other things, sanctions imposed on Russia for its aggression in Donbas and Crimea should remain in place until Moscow fully implements its commitments on the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Blinken also assured Kuleba of the new U.S. administration's readiness to maintain robust economic and military assistance to Ukraine, including the provision of lethal weapons.