Helping Ukraine is US' strategic goal - Assistant Secretary of State O'Brien
Ukraine will become stronger by the end of the year and will be in a better position to determine its future
"As President Biden said is that we're going to help Ukraine win. So that's the goal of the strategy," O'Brien said during a speech at the German Marshall Fund think tank.
According to him, this goal can be achieved thanks to the still expected further financial assistance from the United States and European commitments. In particular, O'Brien hopes that the EU will decide to allocate EUR 50 billion in aid to Ukraine.
"[European Commission] President Ursula von der Leyen, when Secretary [of State] Blinken met her last week, she's very confident that they will manage to secure their funding," the official said.
Regarding American aid to Kyiv, he added that there are "ups and downs," but at the same time there is tremendous support for Ukraine in both houses of Congress.
"The issue is when leaders are ready to put that to a vote. And all I'll say as the assistant Secretary for Europe is every day people are fighting and dying to protect their security and our security and I think it's time that we are able to stand by them as we move forward," he emphasized.
According to O'Brien, Russia intends to continue its war "until it frankly sees the results of our election in November." Therefore, he predicts tense months ahead.
As for financing Ukraine's needs on the way to victory in the war, the official added that a powerful international coalition is helping Ukraine, although Kyiv finances two-thirds of its military needs on its own, using domestic resources.
The US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs is also confident that this year's military campaign strategy to defeat Russia is offensive and will rely on "what was done in 2023," in particular, on the success in securing access to the Black Sea and destabilizing Russia's ability to use Crimea against Ukraine.
The conversation at the German Marshall Fund focused on cooperation between the United States and Europe, Russia's war against Ukraine, and joint responses to global challenges (new technologies, migration, climate). With the participation of James O'Brien, they discussed priorities for 2024 in the context of a united and free Europe.