17 Oct 2023 13:25

U.S. 'steadfast in its support for Ukraine' - special rep

MOSCOW. Oct 17 (Interfax) - U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine's Economic Recovery Penny Pritzker has provided assurances of Washington's continued support for Kiev.

"The U.S. is steadfast in its support for Ukraine. It is in our national interests to support Ukraine. Ukraine has bipartisan support [...] and there is unwavering support for Ukraine from President [Joe] Biden," Ukrainian media quoted Pritzker as saying at a press briefing on the territory of the Coca-Cola museum and factory in the Velikaya Dymerka village of the Kiev region on Monday.

When asked whether she is concerned that the events in the Middle East could divert attention and weaken donors' resolve to help Ukraine recover economically, Pritzker said, "The short answer is no, I'm not concerned."

Pritzker said that she had met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and representatives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office and the American Chamber of Commerce in Kiev.

The official said that, as U.S. special representative for Ukraine's economic recovery, she works with the Ukrainian government to support the opening of export markets, mobilize foreign direct investment and facilitate economic recovery.

"Your visit is a signal of strong support. It is important for us to understand that the United States is ready to help Ukraine get through the winter and protect critical infrastructure," Ukrainian media quoted Zelensky as saying in a statement circulated by his press service following the meeting with Pritzker.

The parties also discussed steps to ensure macroeconomic stability in 2024 and Ukraine's recovery.

"The recovery of Ukraine is a priority," Zelensky said.

Restoration projects require private investment, so Ukraine counts on U.S. businesses' active involvement in long-term projects in the most promising sectors of the Ukrainian economy such as agriculture, engineering, the chemical industry, etc., he said.

"The participation of American companies in the reconstruction of the Ukrainian energy sector is of particular interest. It is especially relevant ahead of the winter period," Zelensky said.

Zelensky also emphasized the need to develop risk guarantee mechanisms in order to raise investment.

As reported, Pritzker also met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal.

"We focused on the points of GDP growth: processing in the agricultural sector, energy, the defense industry, construction, IT, engineering, and business support programs," Ukrainian media outlets quoted Shmygal as saying in a social media post.

Shmygal said that Pritzker and he also discussed Ukrainian export - "a key component of economic growth."

"We are working to expand export capabilities and [to ensure] the functioning of the Black Sea grain corridor. In this context, an efficient military risk insurance system is important. We coordinate this work with American partners," he said.

"We are creating favorable conditions for foreign business: we are implementing reforms, providing investment support, opening industrial parks, and pursuing PPP projects and concessions. We have successful cases of energy cooperation between Energoatom and Westinghouse. I invited American companies to develop their business in Ukraine," Shmygal said.