The Foreign Service Journal, June 2022

14 JUNE 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL TALKING POINTS U.S. Mission in Kyiv to Reopen A merican diplomats will begin a gradual return to Kyiv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on April 25 after a secret visit to Ukraine with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III. It marked the first time top U.S. officials have traveled to Ukraine since Russia’s forces began their invasion on Feb. 24. NPR reported that U.S. embassy staff, who relocated fromKyiv to Poland before the start of the war, would begin returning to Ukraine, starting with day trips to Lviv in western Ukraine, followed by other cit- ies, with a longer-term plan to eventually come back to Kyiv. In a press release, State Department Spokesman Ned Price said: “This action will strengthen the department’s ongoing commitment to facilitate humanitarian relief efforts and the delivery of assistance to the government of Ukraine, while pro- viding enhanced support to U.S. citizens.” At least 17 countries have already reopened their embassies in Kyiv or announced plans to do so, Foreign Policy reported on April 19, most of them European Union and NATOmembers. The return of diplomatic life to the capital represents a symbolic victory and a show of solidarity from the beleaguered coun- try’s allies. The U.S. cabinet secretaries’ visit to Kyiv consisted of a three-hour meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his senior team. During the meeting, Blinken said the U.S. would give $300 million more in foreign military financing, and that President Joe Biden was naming career Senior FSO Bridget Brink to be ambassador to Ukraine. Currently the ambassador to Slovakia, Brink has also served in Serbia, Uzbeki- stan and Georgia since joining the State Department in 1996. There has not been an official ambassador to Ukraine since 2019, when then-president Donald Trump removed Marie Yovanovitch. Less than a week after Blinken’s visit to Ukraine, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to meet with Zelenskyy. Lawmakers spent about three hours on the ground in Kyiv during the unannounced trip on April 30. Pelosi told reporters at a news conference in Poland the next day that discussions had centered on security, humanitarian and economic assistance and eventually rebuilding Ukraine. The visit came just two days after the U.S. mission to Kyiv announced the sad news that a locally employed bodyguard, who had taken leave from his job to join the Ukrainian Army, was killed in the line of duty. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on April 24. U.S.DEPARTMENTOFSTATE Every war ends with diplomacy. This is how history works. In the end, it’s diplomats who have to sit down and draft and sign an agreement. … The chances to meet a Russian diplomat negotiating in good faith are equal to meeting a Martian on Earth. But still, we have to be ready to negoti- ate with them, to defend our positions. As a diplomat, I have to make sure that my country approaches this nego- tiation in the strongest position possible. And the strength of our position will depend on the level and quality of sanctions imposed against Russia, on the amount and quality of weapons supplied to Ukraine, on the level of isolation of Russia in the world and on the ability of Ukrainian army to push Russian army back. I can do the three first things to help our army to do the force. As a diplomat, I’m focused on this. I am ready to negotiate, but I want my country to be very strong in those negotiations. —Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a May 4 interview with NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Contemporary Quote