Victor Pinchuk Foundation and YES held discussion “Will the US Decamp? And Who Could Step In?” during the YES meeting in Kyiv “Two Years - Stay in the Fight”

25 February 2024

On 24 February 2024, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and Yalta European Strategy (YES) held a discussion “Will the US Decamp? And Who Could Step In?” on the occasion of the YES meeting in Kyiv “Two Years - Stay in the Fight” dedicated to the second anniversary of Ukraine's resistance to the full-scale invasion of Russia. Speakers discussed Ukraine’s fight for life, freedom and rules-based order as well as how to aid Ukrainians victory in this fight for us all.

Among the participants of the discussion were Jim Costa, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives; Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary, National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine; Alicia Kearns, Member of Parliament; Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, House of Commons of the United Kingdom; Michael Roth, Member of Parliament; Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Bundestag; Oleksandra Ustinova, Member of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014); Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994), Member, YES-Board moderated the panel.

Jim Costa began the session by expressing support to the Ukrainian people: “We all agreed this was a seminal moment in world history and a test of our time. It was about good and evil. Russia is a syndicate masquerading as a country with a mob boss. Putin is a war criminal.

“I believe we must, and therefore we will, pass the the supplemental package to provide assistance to Ukraine. It won’t be easy and it won’t be pretty. But I believe that in the next several weeks, the US will respond as a beacon of light and as a protector of our security and democratic values,” Jim Costa added.

Oleksandra Ustinova said: “We are very grateful for the US support but unfortunately when I go to Democrats asking for support, they tell me to go to Republicans.  And the Republicans say to go to the democrats. We are grateful for European support but it is clear that we cannot make this without the US. We need the delivery of air defence and continuing of support.”

“Why don’t you give us what we asked for? We need long range missiles. Our priorities are air defence and rockets,” she added.

Oleksiy Danilov said that he was taken aback with the question US decamp: “We should be asking what has happened in the 21st Century. Does the US not wanted to be the defending of the Western Free world? Something seems to be changing around the world. Values are put on hold and money matters more. Democracy seems to be placed in the background.”

Moderator, Carl Bildt asked the panelists if Europe would be able to give more if US doesn’t stump up?

Alicia Kearns, started by saying that she wanted to thank Ukraine for not just fighting for the last two years, but the past ten years. “We need to spend less time saying thank you to you. Why haven’t we listened to history – we cannot appease a dictator. We must unite and that is what the autocrats don’t have.”

Michael Roth, discussed the current democratic policies in Germany currently. “I want Ukraine to prevail, that is my job. It is in our German interest that Ukraine wins this war. We are extremely grateful to our US allies but the times of US leadership in Ukraine is over.”

“We are ready to do much more. Under quite difficult circumstances,” he added. “The UK and Germany are ready. We need to convince our friends in other bigger countries in EU need to do more. Your victory is our victory.”

Jim Costa, reflected on the political will: “One thing is clear, the public will in US and EU is important in maintaining the support that Ukraine needs. With the will of the public everything is possible, without it nothing is. We need to give Ukraine everything it needs to successfully with this war. They are on the battlefield and the stepping up of Europe is critical.”

Photos are available here

Video is available at the Victor Pinchuk Foundation YouTube channel

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Sauli Niinistö
Sauli Niinistö
President of the Republic of Finland, 16th YES Annual Meeting, 2019
«Structures are not enough. Even the best constitution is not sufficient to guarantee a functioning society. It can only provide a framework.»