US President Joe Biden pledged support for Ukraine in its confrontation with Russia during a phone call Thursday with his counterpart in Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelensky, the White House said.
Biden has been leading attempts to build a united Western front against Russian military pressure on Ukraine, which has angered Moscow by seeking to integrate with the West. More than 100,000 Russian troops are massed on Ukraine’s borders.
In the call with Zelensky, Biden “reaffirmed the readiness of the United States along with its allies and partners to respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” a readout from the White House said.
Biden “underscored the commitment of the United States to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
In the call, Biden said Washington is “exploring additional macroeconomic support to help Ukraine’s economy amidst pressure resulting from Russia’s military build-up,” the statement said, without going into detail.
Addressing Ukrainian criticism over the decision to call on US citizens to leave Ukraine, Biden told Zelensky that the embassy “remains open and fully operational.”
While expressing support for talks this week where Ukraine and Russia recommitted to a tense ceasefire in the disputed east of the country, Biden promised that diplomatic deals would not be cut behind Ukraine’s back, saying “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.”
In a tweet, Zelensky said he and the US president had “a long phone conversation” and that they “discussed recent diplomatic efforts on de-escalation and agreed on joint actions for the future.”
Zelensky said he thanked Biden for US weapons deliveries and that “possibilities for financial support to Ukraine were also discussed.”