US Treasury Secretary Yellen In Ukraine After Deadly Drone Strike

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | Tag Cloud

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

KYIV (Worthy News) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrived in Kyiv to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine’s struggle against Russia’s invasion, hours after deadly drone strikes in Ukraine and a counterattack against a Russian warplane.

Yellen also promoted U.S. economic aid that is bolstering Ukraine’s war effort, just days following the visit by U.S. President Joe Biden to the wartorn nation.

Ironically, Yellen’s unannounced visit Monday started with air raid alarms in the Ukrainian capital, much as they did when President Biden visited Kyiv one week ago.

Earlier, Ukraine’s defense ministry claimed to have shot down 11 of 14 Russian drones, including nine over Kyiv. Two emergency workers were reportedly killed and three other people injured in a drone attack on the western city of Khmelnytskyi, its mayor said.

Soon after, anti-war partisans in neighboring Belarus claimed to have severely damaged a Russian military aircraft.

BYPOL, the Belarusian partisan group, claimed it had used drones to strike the Machulishchy airfield 12 kilometers from the capital Minsk, severely damaging a Beriev A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft (Awacs).

Despite security concerns and escalating tensions, Yellen wanted to move to Kyiv, where Bridget A. Brink, the American ambassador to Ukraine, greeted her.

AMERICA SUPPORTIVE

Soon after, she met the Ukrainian government amid the backdrop of war. “America will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes,” Yellen, flanked by sandbags at the cabinet ministers’ office, told Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

The prime minister said the two discussed further U.S. sanctions on Russia aimed at weakening its economy and military and “confiscating frozen Russian assets and putting them to the benefit of the recovery of Ukraine.”

But Yellen told reporters in a phone briefing that there were still significant legal obstacles to fully seizing the $300 billion in Russian central bank assets frozen by sanctions.

Yellen also announced the transfer of the first $1.25 billion from the latest $9.9 billion tranche of economic and budget assistance from Washington.

In a private meeting with Zelenskiy late in the afternoon, the Treasury said she commended him “for his leadership and resolve in the face of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war.”

The Treasury said she welcomed Zelenskiy’s actions to strengthen governance and address corruption – steps needed to ensure that U.S. economic aid is spent responsibly.

INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS

The Treasury Department is responsible for imposing international sanctions against Russian individuals and entities, as well as delivering economic aid, already $14 billion since the war began.

Zelensky posted a video to his online Telegram channel showing him welcoming the secretary and thanking her for her support.

“I’m in Kyiv to reaffirm our unwavering support of the Ukrainian people,” Yellen wrote in published remarks. “Mr. Putin is counting on our global coalition’s resolve to wane, which he thinks will give him the upper hand in the war. But he is wrong. As President Biden said here last week, America will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Yellen explained that economic aid is not only vital for security assistance but to help meet the basic needs of the Ukrainian people.

That includes helping people who have had to flee their homes and providing housing and utility subsidies.

“We cannot allow Ukraine to lose the war for economic reasons when it has shown an ability to succeed on the battlefield,” Yellen
wrote in The New York Times paper. “Ukraine’s military resistance depends on a government that can function effectively, as well as a stable economy that can help finance defense efforts over the long term. By fortifying the ‘home front,’ our economic assistance is helping make possible Ukraine’s stalwart frontline defense against Russia,” she added.

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