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Administrator Samantha Power Before Her Meeting With Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy | Speech | U.S. Agency for International Development

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Administrator Samantha Power Before Her Meeting With Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy | Speech | U.S. Agency for International Development


ADMINISTRATOR POWER: This is my first trip back to Ukraine since 2015. It is very different circumstances, devastating circumstances, in some ways. But it is, also, remarkable to see how much stronger Ukraine’s institutions are now than that immediate, post-Maidan period. 

We, at USAID, feel so fortunate to get to partner with you in so many domains. We just announced another grant to OTI, I think an organization that the First Lady is working with, on mental health. And we have been inspired beyond words, as you know, by your personal bravery and resilience – which you are the face of it, but also as reflected by the bravery and resilience of your people, to an extent that is almost unimaginable to those of us who have the luxury of distance from this conflict. And to see the success on the battlefield, born of the fact that your soldiers and your people are fighting for their freedom and their families. And on the other side, the soldiers don’t know what they’re fighting for. And born of the fact that it is your land and your people’s land. That has us all, as well, transfixed, and I’m very hopeful. 

I think what we are here to discuss with you today is, as you said, support away from the battlefield. The security assistance is flowing. It’s incredibly important. We know that every day this war goes on is a day too long, because it is the people who are paying the price for every day, for every battle. And so, the shorter the war takes, the better. But, we at USAID, and across the U.S. government are investing in your economy and in your democracy, even as that war continues. 

And again, I feel, having been at the United Nations when Russia invaded Crimea and eastern Ukraine, I had only my big mouth. Now, I have USAID, this much broader portfolio. It’s a much more powerful assortment of tools, but the challenge that we face as your friend and supporter, is one of prioritization. And figuring out, again, how to sequence the deployment of resources in an optimal way knowing that the needs are almost infinite. And so, that is what I’m very eager to talk to you about.

But above all, Mr. President, thank you for reminding us in the United States and people all around the world that freedom is worth fighting for.

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