President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with a delegation of the United States Congress. The meeting involved US Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Robert Portman, Christopher Murphy, their advisers, as well as Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the United States in Ukraine Kristina Kvien.
The Ukrainian party involved the First President of Ukraine, Head of the Ukrainian Delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group Leonid Kravchuk, Deputy Prime Minister - Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak and his deputies Ihor Zhovkva, Yulia Svyriydenko and Andrii Sybiha.
"This meeting is very important for us, because it reaffirms that the United States is our strategic partner. Especially now, at very tense times of the probable escalation on the part of Russia," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
According to him, the concentration of Russian troops is currently observed in the temporarily occupied territories and along the Ukrainian border. Russia has also increased the number of aircraft and military equipment along Ukraine's borders and in the occupied Crimea.
"Hence, Russia is only declaring in words the withdrawal of its forces and the fulfillment of its obligations. In total, only about 10,000 servicemen have been withdrawn,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Head of State also stressed that there is currently only one new checkpoint on the delimitation line, and the rest have not started working due to the reluctance of the other party.
During a meeting with the Senators, the video call with the military leadership from the area of the Joint Forces Operation in Donbas was held, so that, as Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted, all parties “could be in the same information context and hear about the current situation of Ukraine firsthand".
In particular, during the video call from Orikhove, Luhansk region, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak spoke about the overall situation in the JFO area and in some areas of responsibility of the Ukrainian units. He reminded that on May 27, a sniper killed a Ukrainian serviceman in the area of his current location.
"The leadership of the Russian Federation continues to implement its plans for aggression against Ukraine. The enemy is keeping a group of Russian armed forces in the border areas of Voronezh, Belgorod, Rostov regions and in the temporarily occupied Crimea," he said.
Ruslan Khomchak also stressed that the enemy, ignoring the TCG's ceasefire agreements, continues the shelling of Ukrainian positions. The greatest shelling activity is observed in the Mariupol, Avdiivka and Toretsk areas.
In addition, there is an active fire of snipers coming from the Russian Federation. In total, 52 cases of sniper weapons usage by Russian units have been recorded since the beginning of the silence regime, as a result of which 23 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and 12 have been wounded, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated.
Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Roman Mashovets, who is in Pisky, Donetsk region, informed about the situation near this settlement.
During the video call from Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, Head of the Ukrainian party to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of Ceasefire and Stabilization of the Line of Delimitation of the Parties Serhiy Salkutsan reported on the current state of the security component and cases of ceasefire violations.
The President thanked the Senators for their support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, as well as for their assistance in ensuring the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our state.
"I am very grateful for the bipartisan support. We are grateful to you for the military assistance," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy, expressing hope that this assistance will be increased to further build up Ukraine's defense capabilities, including the Navy.
He also stressed the importance of continuing the policy of sanctions against the Russian Federation until Russia stops its aggressive actions.
"The current sanctions from the EU and the US are no longer working today - Russia is used to living with it, taking away other territories and threatening Europe. The whole civilized world cannot allow this. Therefore, I believe that it is necessary not just to put pressure, but to build a new format of sanctions policy," the President said.
Jeanne Shaheen noted that due to the information provided, the Senators clearly understand what is happening in Donbas, they also received data on the concentration of Russian troops near the borders of Ukraine.
"We must convey a very strong signal to Russia that it must withdraw all its troops from the borders with Ukraine," she said.