US envoy to UN meets Ukraine's Zelenskyy in Kyiv

Linda Thomas-Greenfield to observe efforts to preserve 'evidence of atrocities' committed by Russian forces

Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited Ukraine to reiterate America's continued support for its independence and territorial sovereignty. AFP
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Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US envoy to the UN, met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Tuesday to discuss the “unwavering US commitment” to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

They discussed international efforts to minimise the “impact of Russia’s aggression on global food security, including through sustaining and expanding the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative, and to ensure accountability for war crimes and atrocities perpetrated on the Ukrainian people”, a US readout of the meeting stated.

“I have seen a city and a country that is under attack,” Ms Thomas-Greenfield said after the meeting.

“This is a city where Russian bombs have rained down on apartments and hospitals, orphanages and playgrounds.

“And yet, what I have seen — and felt — during my visit here is not a city destroyed, but a city strengthened, determined to survive.”

As voters headed to the polls in America's midterm elections on Tuesday, questions swirled as to how long US support to Ukraine can last if the Republican Party wins control of Congress.

Some Republican candidates have said the US should spend the billions of dollars it is sending to Ukraine at home instead and Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy has said there would no longer be a “blank check” for Ukraine if Republicans win the majority.

Still, a senior US official told reporters that Ms Thomas-Greenfield reassured Mr Zelenskyy that “there is strong bipartisan support to support the people of Ukraine in their time of need, and that support will continue as long as necessary”.

Moscow's war against Ukraine has prompted Ms Thomas-Greenfield and other diplomats to consider reforming the UN Security Council, where Russia is a permanent member and frequently wields its veto power.

The American diplomat last month backed President Joe Biden's call to expand the chamber.

On Tuesday, Ms Thomas-Greenfield announced $25 million in winterisation assistance to help vulnerable people in Ukraine survive the winter ahead.

“With winter fast approaching, we understand the importance of helping Ukraine keep homes warm and the power on,” she said during a visit to a collective centre housing internally displaced people in the Ukrainian city of Irpin.

The US envoy's trip to Ukraine comes a week after Mr Zelenskyy met National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, where an additional $400m security assistance package was announced.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield also toured a laboratory in Kyiv, where she saw how crime scene technicians are “meticulously examining war crimes scenes” and collecting necessary evidence.

“Their findings will be used by officials to build the case against the perpetrators of these horrifying atrocities,” the envoy said.

Updated: November 09, 2022, 12:24 AM