Ihor Zhovkva, the deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelensky's Office, has outlined a number of priorities in cooperation between Ukraine and the administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.
Zhovkva shared the information in an interview for the TV news service TSN.ua.
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"First of all, this is U.S. support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, taking into account military aid. Remember how important this issue has always been for all U.S. administrations. We can only speak in the language of facts. The next defense budget, which was approved by both houses after overcoming outgoing President [Donald] Trump's veto, provides for the same amount of military aid. And what is even more important is an increase in funding for the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine," he said.
Zhovkva noted that military aid is of great importance and expressed the hope that that priority would remain on the agenda for the Democrats' Administration as well.
The official says the second priority is the United States' active involvement in the process of resolving the situation in Donbas and the end of the Russian occupation of Crimea. "We can talk here for long about the formats of this involvement, forms, definition of positions and the like. But I can fully note that this issue will be on the radar of the new Democratic Administration. There is no reason to doubt this," he added.
Zhovkva also noted that the economic sector would remain one of the priorities on the agenda of bilateral relations between Ukraine and the United States.
"We need to boost trade despite the pandemic. We had a good turnover before the coronavirus, it was US$ 6 billion. But now it is obviously on the decline. We need to continue implementing the same projects that we already have. And the energy sector immediately comes to mind. We've already talked about LNG [liquefied natural gas]. We need to see what this topic contains, to what extent it should remain a priority so that Ukraine's energy independence is also guaranteed by the United States. The agrarian sector is traditional for our relations. We can talk about such new areas as IT, artificial intelligence," he said.
Zhovkva also highlighted the fight against corruption as a priority in relations with the United States. "Here we will indeed be allies of President Biden in carrying out anti-corruption measures in Ukraine. President Zelensky here is definitely the best interlocutor for the U.S. President when it comes to Ukraine. These are probably the main priorities. But there may be others, additional ones. We have many institutions regarding cooperation with the United States, which obviously need to be updated. For example, the [U.S.-Ukraine] Strategic Partnership Commission. Perhaps it needs to be reshuffled, perhaps a new meeting needs to be held, perhaps we need to raise [its] level. That is, we will talk about it. We are preparing a strategic document, let's call it a roadmap [for relations between Ukraine and the United States]. We are ready to present it when contacts happen," he added.