U.S. Chargé d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien has said that Ukraine was not, and is not, taking provocative actions against Russia, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has reported.
According to the report, Kvien said this in her speech at the change of command ceremony at the Combat Training Center in Yavoriv.
"The government of Russia continues to conduct a disinformation campaign, falsely claiming Ukraine is escalating tensions. Let me make crystal clear — my team at the U.S. Embassy and I know first hand – Ukraine was not, and is not, taking provocative actions against Russia. In fact, Ukraine has demonstrated admirable restraint in the face of Russia's intimidation and aggression," she said
Kvien added that the United States and its NATO Allies and partners in Europe were deeply concerned about this escalation.
She said that against the backdrop of Russia's provocations, it is important to remember that "the Ukraine of 2021 – and the Ukrainian armed forces of 2021 – are vastly different than those of 2014."
"The Ukraine of 2021 has achieved significant reform – you have improved rule of law, developed the economy, and fought against corruption. In doing so, Ukraine has become more democratic, more responsive to the will and needs of its people, and more resilient to threats, both external and internal," Kvien said.
In her opinion, the Ukrainian armed forces have become a more capable, more professional fighting force, one of the most capable battle-ready forces in Europe today.
She noted that the United States has provided Ukraine with $2 billion in security assistance since 2014.
"The Biden Administration is continuing and enhancing this support," Kvien said.
U.S. President Joe Biden said on April 16 that the U.S. supported Ukraine in the face of Russia's aggression. He called on the Kremlin to de-escalate and return to a constructive dialogue.
On April 15, Biden issued an executive order imposing new sanctions and other restrictions on Russia in response to actions by the Russian government and intelligence services against U.S. interests and sovereignty.