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'Ukraine had weird delegation': Diplomat Chaly comments Yermak's visit to US

18 November, 2023 Saturday
19:35

Valeriy Chaly, a diplomat and former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the US, said that only government representatives have a protocol meeting at the airport, which is why the delegation included half of the government officials and the other half from the Presidential Office

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He shared his opinion with Espreso TV.

"This visit is in no way connected with the meeting of the leaders of China and the United States. This visit was more of an invitation from the United States, and it was quite a quick visit - to lobby for funding for Ukraine in Congress. You know, the situation is not easy now. Out of the three scenarios we have been talking about for a long time, our government for some reason assessed the most optimistic option, and the worst scenario is actually playing out now. The worst scenario is when a group of Republicans, including the Chairman of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, is playing political games. They want to actually push back the issue of providing aid to Ukraine, and there is no telling what will happen next. It is already clear that there will be a reduction," said the former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States.

Valeriy Chaly added that he has heard from colleagues who, assessing this visit, wonder how it is that Andriy Yermak left and nothing has changed. The diplomat is convinced that it is necessary to work systematically, and not to hope to change something with one trip.

"By the way, we had a rather weird delegation, but it's good that at least in this format. Because I don't remember such delegations, where half of the members are from the Cabinet of Ministers and half from the President's Office. But I know why this is done. Because unlike in Ukraine, where the Presidential Office actually plays the role of the government, the Cabinet of Ministers is an appendage, just an executive element of the decisions of the relevant areas in the Presidential Office. We know this system, and at this level, the head of the Presidential Office is, as some people joke, a vice president, but we don't have such a position. Or, as one politician in Ukraine once said, not the first, but not the second for Ukrainian politics. And for American politics, there is a protocol, and there is a chief of staff who doesn't even have a normal protocol meeting at the airport, but a government representative does, so they make a delegation and insert a person who leads the delegation. Well, it looks ridiculous, but the Americans have already accepted this, they know our specifics," explained Mr. Chaly.

Chaly summed up that the trip of this delegation was more focused on two issues: lobbying for financial assistance to Ukraine, which has the support of the White House, and explaining the situation at the frontline in order to brief National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who can then use it to shape President Biden's position.

  • On November 12, the head of the Presidential Office, Andriy Yermak, arrived in the United States with a Ukrainian delegation.
  • On November 14, top Ukraine presidential aide Andriy Yermak met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Washington. The Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine also met with representatives of American expert circles and opinion leaders. 
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