Joe Biden

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine and an Exchange With Reporters in Hiroshima, Japan

May 21, 2023

President Biden. Well, Mr. President, it's good to be here with you and your colleagues. Thanks for making the trip to Japan. And your—the brave people of Ukraine, led by you and your colleagues here, are just a marvel to the rest of the world. I'm sure every place you go you've gotten that response. It's absolutely astounding.

And the brutality with which Putin is conducting this full-blown assault is just—I don't think even 3 years ago anybody would have thought it could be anything like this.

That's why the United States continues to do all we can to strengthen Ukraine's ability to defend itself, including launching some new joint efforts with our partners to train Ukrainian pilots on a fourth-generation fighter aircraft like the F-16.

And this week, the G-7 also imposed hundreds of new sanctions and export controls against Russia's assets to ensure that we keep pressure on Putin. To hold his backers accountable for this war, these are sanctioning them as well.

And today I'm announcing the next tranche of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, a package that includes more ammunition, artillery, armored vehicles to bolster Ukraine's battlefield abilities.

And the United States continues to help Ukraine respond, recover, and rebuild. And we're also supporting your pursuit of a just peace, just one aspect of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has to be nonnegotiable. It just has to happen.

So, Mr. President, what the people of Ukraine are defending, what you've achieved is a matter for the entire world to observe. And they're in awe of what you've done so far, really and truly. It's incredible.

Together, with the entire G-7, we have Ukraine's back. And I promise we're not going anywhere.

So thank you for being here.

President Zelenskyy. Thank you very much, Mr. President. First of all, thank you for your apt leadership, for your support, and really, for this new package. It's great. Thank you very much from our people.

And I'm so happy that, you know, we have so strong relations with our people, that our people during these—all these challenges, they go shoulder to shoulder. I'm very thankful to American people, to you, your team, Congress, bipartisan support.

And I'm happy that between our teams there are strong relations. There's Jake and Andriy, and Mr. Blinken and our Foreign Minister. All of you—big team—and that really help us. Thank you.

I remember your last brave, historical visit to Kyiv. And really, our society highly appreciate for this. And we spoke about very difficult decisions. And you did it with the training mission. We are very thankful. Because I think it will give us more strong positions on the battlefield. So we are very thankful that that is the new package. I really didn't know the details, but I know that you gave us a very big package during this year; it's more than $37 billion. My appreciations. We'll never forget.

Thank you very much.

President Biden. Well, you know, I—some of my staff was saying that we're supposed to be leaving, but it was—seemed to be following you when I was in Kyiv and those sirens went off that there was an air raid——

President Zelenskyy. Yes.

President Biden. ——and we were walking through. We just kept walking. And I thought, "Well, if he doesn't care about the sirens, I don't care about the sirens." [Laughter] But, well, I don't know, I worried that you were going get us in trouble.

Anyway, thank you.

President Zelenskyy. Thank you.

President Biden. Thank you, everybody. Appreciate it.

Q. Mr. President—President Zelenskyy, is Bakhmut still in Ukraine's hands? The Russians say they've taken Bakhmut.

President Zelenskyy. I think no, but you have to understand that there is nothing. They've destroyed everything. There are no buildings. It's a pity. It's tragedy.

But, for today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts. There is nothing on this place, so—just ground and a lot of dead Russians. But they came to us.

So that—our defenders in Bakhmut, they—they did strong work. They—and of course, we appreciate them for their great job.

President Biden. Thank you.

Q. President Zelenskyy, what else do you need from the United States?

Q. Mr. President, why did you change your mind on F-16's? President Biden——

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:46 p.m. at the Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima. In his remarks, he referred to President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia. President Zelenskyy referred to U.S. National Security Adviser Jacob J. Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken; and Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba of Ukraine.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine and an Exchange With Reporters in Hiroshima, Japan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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