Yellen’s trip to Ukraine saw her meeting with both the Ukrainian prime minister and president and gave her an opportunity to discuss the United States’ continued economic support for Kyiv’s war efforts.
What Did Yellen Say in Ukraine?
During a joint press conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Yellen pledged further economic support for Ukraine from the United States and insisted that the support does not come with a time limit.
“As we mark one year since the beginning of this full-scale invasion, the message I bring to you from President Biden is simple: America will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Yellen told reporters.
Yellen added that the United States has so far provided more than $14 billion in economic support to Ukraine, and that an additional $8 billion is on the way in the coming months.
Yellen also indicated that the United States will continue providing support after the war eventually ends with a view to helping Ukraine rebuild its infrastructure and the many towns and cities that have been destroyed over the last year.
“Looking ahead, we know that Ukraine’s process of rebuilding its economy following its victory is critical to its long-term future. That’s why we’ve been strong supporters of the Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine. The U.S. will remain by your side at every step of the way,” Yellen said.
Yellen could have visited Ukraine at the same time as the president, although it may not have been politically expedient for the White House to combine the trips.
Should Yellen have arrived alongside the president, it could have raised questions about whether the president is capable of discussing these matters with Zelenskyy on his own.
Joint meetings may also have overshadowed the significance of the U.S. president appearing in Kyiv for the first time, and would have split the attention of the press between Biden and the treasury secretary.
By having Yellen visit days after the president left, the White House enjoys more press coverage of his continued commitment to supporting Ukraine – something that the Biden administration may see as a way of winning over the American public, much, in the same way, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was accused of using his trips to Kyiv to divert attention away from domestic matters.
A spokesperson for the Treasury, however, insisted that the trip’s purpose was entirely to reaffirm Biden’s commitment to Ukraine.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.