Dear Ukrainians, I wish you health!
Finally, we can say that we have managed to bring Ukraine's strength and defense cooperation with partners to a new level. The one we really need right now.
Now, our soldiers will have even more weapons, equipment, rounds, defense systems, which will make us much more prepared for any escalating plans of Russia and those strikes that the terrorist state inflicts, regardless of whether it is a holiday or a weekday.
I thank everyone who helps us protect our country and Ukrainians!
Since I visited the United States two weeks ago, there have already been more than 20 stages in our diplomatic marathon.
It's my communication with the leaders of Germany, Sweden, Japan, Croatia, Spain, Latvia, Turkey, France, Denmark, Romania, Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Israel, Greece and India. In addition, my first negotiations this year with the President of the European Commission. Also constant contact with US representatives. For example, today a delegation of the Senate was in Kyiv, and also a conversation between the defense minister of Ukraine and the secretary of defense of the United States was held.
And today, a new package of US defense assistance for our country was announced – and a very powerful one!
For the first time, we will get Bradley fighting vehicles – this is exactly what is needed. New guns and projectiles, including high-precision ones. New missiles. New drones. It's timely and strong. The total amount of this support package from the United States is almost $3 billion.
I thank President Biden, I thank the congressmen and all Americans who value freedom, and who know that freedom is worth protecting, and who heard Ukraine during my visit to Washington. We see absolutely concrete results of this visit and our negotiations.
We now have a significant step forward by Germany to strengthen the security of not only Ukraine but also the whole of Europe, especially the entire region bordering Russia. Strengthening our air defenses is a direct de-escalation effort here and now. The fewer opportunities Russia has to terrorize peaceful cities, the less the overall potential of Russian aggression will be.
I thank Chancellor Scholz for the decision to provide Ukraine with the Patriot air defense system! Together with the brilliant German IRIS-T, the Patriot system will make Ukrainian and European skies much safer.
Also today, with Mr. Chancellor, we discussed other aspects of our defense cooperation, in particular, 40 Marder vehicles and other things that are necessary to stop Russian aggression.
A very important talk was held today with Prime Minister of Japan Kishida.
Last year, Japan became a leader among Asian countries in the protection of freedom and international law. I am sure that this year too – especially with Japan's chairmanship of the Group of Seven, which began in January – we will be able to do even more together for our common security. Actually, today we agreed on priorities for cooperation this year.
And I thank Mr. Prime Minister for a very serious package of energy assistance – powerful generators for our country and people.
Today's conversation with the Prime Minister of Sweden can also be called strategic. The Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union has now begun, and we expect to begin negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the European Union during the Swedish presidency. It's an important motivational element for Ukraine and all Europeans. Despite any attempts by Russia to destabilize Europe, together we become even stronger in all aspects, including institutional ones.
So, as of now, for Ukraine, there is more air defense, more armored vehicles, for the first time – Western tanks, more guns and rounds, more energy and political opportunities. And all this means more protection for Ukrainians and all Europeans from any manifestations of Russian terror.
Ruscism must lose this war – in everything and everywhere. On land, in the sky, on the sea, in energy, in the economy, in politics, and finally – on the dock in the international tribunal for this aggression against Ukraine. Every day, together with our partners, we bring this sentence for terrorists closer. Peace is getting closer every day.
I will continue our diplomatic marathon next week. Let's make Ukraine even stronger!
I thank everyone who defends our country! Thanks to everyone who keeps Bakhmut and Donetsk region! To everyone who is moving forward in Luhansk region! To all who hold the south! To all who defend our sky!
Please remember what evil is at war against us. Pay attention to the air raid alerts, and especially during these holidays. Our air defense fighters will do everything possible. But please help them by taking care of your own safety.
Glory to Ukraine!