The US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told an audience in Kiev on Thursday that Washington has been helping plan the Ukrainian ‘counteroffensive’ against Russia for almost half a year.
“Even as you plan for the counteroffensive, which we have been working on with you for some 4-5 months, we are already beginning our discussions with [the] Ukrainian government and with friends in Kiev – both on the civilian side and on the military side – about Ukraine’s long-term future,” Nuland told the Kiev Security Forum via video-link from the State Department.
She added that the attack will be “likely starting and moving concurrently” with events such as the NATO summit in Lithuania, scheduled for July 11.
According to Nuland, the US is also planning for Ukraine’s future military to deter Russia, so “wherever and however this ends – one year, six years, 16 years – we are not doing this again.” She also painted a rosy picture of a future in which Ukraine would be the “engine of Europe’s revitalization” and “setting the democratic example… for the whole world.”
The forum was organized by the Open Ukraine Foundation, established by former Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatseniuk, who moderated the panel at which Nuland spoke. Another panel was co-sponsored by the Atlantic Council, whose officials argued that “transatlantic unity and robust support can help Ukraine defeat Russia and renew European security.”