Ukrainian President Zelensky Calls for Support from G7

 

Ukrainian President Zelensky Calls for Support from G7

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky joined the G7 summit that remotely brings the seven wealthiest economies in the world. He said that his country required more support to protect itself.

Zelensky warned that Russia was stepping up its rocket attacks against Ukraine and said, 'I need modern and effective air defense systems to ensure the safety of the civilian population and protect our cities. Heavier sanctions should be implemented against Russia. It is important to consider effective mechanisms that can remove obstacles preventing Ukraine's grain export and keep the global food supply intact.'

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that in his remote remarks, Zelensky described his country's current situation and how his government allocated the financial and military support they had received so far. Sullivan also stated that the Ukrainian leader gave the message that in the struggle against Russia, he was determined to bring his country to an advantageous position in the coming months.

Sullivan pointed to the next 24 hours for a possible Biden-Erdoğan meeting.

While answering questions for the press, Sullivan said that there wasn't an exact program for President Joe Biden to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the NATO Summit that will take place in Madrid. But he said there could be developments in the next 24 hours.

G7 pledges support to Ukraine

On the other hand, G7 leaders issued a joint statement affirming their continued support for Ukraine shortly after Zelensky spoke to them today. The statement said, 'We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine as long as it takes,' and it emphasized that Ukraine had the support of the G7 when it came to protecting its territorial integrity, defending itself, and determining its future.

Journalist Ali Cinar explained the outcome of the G7 summit that was held in Germany on Bloomberg HT yesterday.

What is the Uniting for Ukraine program of the United States?

President Joe Biden recently announced a program called Uniting for Ukraine, which aims to accelerate the applications of Ukrainians who fled their countries and sought asylum in the United States.

Biden administration officials stated that the new program, which took effect at the top of this week, will complement existing legal pathways available to those fleeing from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.

On April 21, US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas stated that "the US Department of Homeland Security will continue to provide relief to the Ukrainian people while supporting our European allies who have shouldered so much as the result of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine."

What is the Uniting for Ukraine program?

The program allows US citizens and legal residents to sponsor Ukrainian refugees under different immigration statuses. The online portal is open to potential sponsors or organizations, and it accepts applications. The portal has received more than 4 thousand sponsorship requests so far, according to CNN.

Who qualifies under the program?

Ukrainians or immediate family members of Ukrainian citizens are eligible for application. Potential applicants must have been residents of Ukraine as of February 11, and they must have a sponsor in the United States.

What are the requirements of the program?

Ukrainians who wish to join the program must pass security checks, including giving fingerprints, going through an FBI name check, and passing through biometric screening, and meet public health requirements such as having the proper vaccinations before entering the United States.

Those approved will be allowed to enter the United States on humanitarian grounds. These people will be allowed to stay in the United States for two years, and they will be able to apply for work permits.

A DHS statement said that "the United States strongly encourages Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States who do not have and are not eligible for a visa to seek entry via Uniting for Ukraine from Europe. This will be the safest and most efficient way to pursue temporary refuge in the United States."

Who qualifies as a sponsor?

US citizens and other residents who hold lawful status in the United States, foreign nationals who are beneficiaries of Deferred Enforced Departure, Temporary Protected Status, or Deferred Action, among others, can sponsor Ukrainians.

Sponsors must prove that they have the necessary resources to give financial support to the refugees. They also need to pass security and background vetting "in order to protect against exploitation and abuse." Ukrainian applicants will receive authorization only after every condition is met. These conditions include proving that the person or organization intending to sponsor them has the financial means to support them.

Who is not eligible for the program?

Ukrainian citizens already residing in the US are not allowed to participate in the Uniting for Ukraine program.

 More detailshttps://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/uniting-for-ukraine

U.S. Warns NATO Allies of Possible Russian Invasion in Ukraine

There is a major Ukraine alert at the capital, Washington, DC. Russia's long-standing amassing of military forces near the Ukraine borders, in addition to Putin's steps to send some of the navy ships to the Black Sea, have increased the USA's concerns about the possibility of Russia invading a large portion of Ukraine. Yes, you didn't hear it wrong: a considerable part, including Odessa. So what is the U.S. doing about this? We found out that European countries within NATO, while warning allies such as Turkey that there is a small-time window to prevent military intervention in Ukraine, are also urging them to work closely with the U.S. in order to develop a package of economic and military measures to dissuade Moscow. American officials believe that It is unclear what Russia is planning to do with the military buildup near Ukraine. However, the buildup is taken seriously, and the U.S. does not assume that it is a bluff, meaning that the Biden administration is growing more convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering military action either to seize a more significant portion of Ukraine or to create enough instability to form a more Pro-Moscow government.

Last month,while the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov, the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Valery Zaluzhny about the military mobilization on the Ukrainian border and the possibilities. At the same time, it is good to recall that Avril D. Haines, the Director of National Intelligence, had traveled to Brussels last month in order to brief the NATO ambassadors about the American intelligence and possible Russian military intervention in Ukraine. Recently, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Lavrov met in Stockholm to discuss the tension in the region. There will be video call  next week between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, amid tensions over the conflict in Ukraine.

On the US-Turkey side, the statements suggesting that Ukraine was also discussed during the phone call that the National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had with President's Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin are noteworthy.Turkey is ready to act as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia but Russia already declined Turkey's proposal. We have seen NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg offer his own statements on Russia. Stoltenberg commented on the "large and unusual" concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine's border. "It is urgent that Russia shows transparency about its military buildup, de-escalate and reduce tensions," he stated.

Probabilities in Europe

With Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany leaving the world stage, there is less pressure on Ukraine to make concessions. Without a coalition in Germany, there is not much leadership in Berlin. Rising energy prices have made Europe more dependent on cheap Russian gas supplies, especially as winter becomes more challenging and gas reserves in Europe drop further. Fear of losing access to Russian energy could limit Europe's support of tough sanctions. The U.S. wants to create a "common prescription" of actions they would abide by together with Europe, should Russia move against Ukraine with its military. While there are parts of Russia's economy that have not been subjected to sanctions, the United States will need to build support in Europe for new measures to be effective. We can say that there are experts stating that another factor must be taken into account: the West may not be able to take significant steps in new military operations since Russian President Putin knows that during the Obama-Biden Administration, the U.S. and Europe were inadequate during the annexation of Crimea. At the same time, officials say that the NATO countries need to be mindful that the Belarusian crisis and troop buildup on Ukraine's border are occurring at the same time.

Townsend, a former senior Pentagon official who is well-known to Turkey, said, "We have to be ready to be tough. Putin acts quickly.I think he likes distracting and stalling off. He has the chance to play a game. All eyes are on the Belarusian border.Meanwhile, he is putting together what he thinks might be required when going to Ukraine. We don't have to bomb anything. But we have to be clever in how we show our military capacity." 

Michael McCaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, said, "To respond to Russia's provocative measures on Ukraine's borders, yes, Biden should talk to Putin and at the same time send more anti-tank Javelin missiles and get the Turks to send more armed drones to Ukraine. Ukrainians must be allowed to defend themselves."

What Will Turkey Do?

No matter how tense Turkish-American relations are, the possible developments regarding Ukraine may require the two NATO allies to work closely. We know that Turkey openly condemned Russia for the annexation of Crimea. I assume that we will enter a period in which dialogues between American and Turkish military officials will increase. We can state that for more than a year in Washington, DC, there have been both official and civil security experts making statements on Turkey's power over the Black Sea, and the U.S. should work more closely with Turkey. I can say that I expect Turkey to comply with all the decisions made by NATO in order to avoid conflict in case of Russian military action. The question in DC is what NATO and neighboring NATO countries can possibly do about Putin's actions towards dividing Ukraine from multiple sides, whether from the land or the Black Sea.

I hope that mistakes were learned from the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. Ukraine's membership in NATO should be considered as soon as possible. If Ukraine were a NATO member, Russian would not dare plan to invade Ukraine, or we would not be talking about this unexpected development now. Let's not wait to see Russia illegally capture more land from Ukraine or other Eastern European countries. 

It's time that all NATO members unite stronger than ever.

  • Published in Politics

Mazurkevich: Ukraine needs to become a member of NATO.

Turk of America interviewed Ulana Mazurkevich, the President of the Ukrainian Human Rights Committee; President of the Ukrainian Community Committee, Philadelphia. She recently received a medal from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Turkish - Ukrainian relations

I am so happy that Ukraine's neighbor Turkey has become a good friend and ally of Ukraine. I remember when Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Ukraine, when Ukraine voted on December 1, 1991, to become independent. 

 Turkey's and Ukraine's geography make it essential for them to have a close working relationship. After the invasion and seizure of Crimea by Russia, Turkey responded with strong condemnation of Russia. The human rights abuses that Russia waged and is waging in Crimea were deplorable. The deportation of Crimean Tartars, which is going on in Crimea, was first used by Stalin in changing the nationality of parts of Ukraine; the confiscation of their property, the closing of Ukrainian and Tartar schools, the mass arrests of activists this list of attacks against the Ukrainians and Crimea Tartars is never-ending in today's Crimea, which is under occupation by Russia.

Ukraine Relationship with U.S. and NATO

It is very important for Ukraine to become a member of NATO. Ukraine, in its foreign policy, is a strong ally of the West. Today, Ukraine stands as a bulwark against Russian aggression. It is fighting a hot war in the eastern part of the country. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians died or were wounded in this war with Russia. In this war, Ukraine stands alone. Many countries have voiced their support for Ukraine. I know that Ukraine appreciates this support. But, it does stand alone in defending its sovereignty. If Ukraine was a member of NATO, would Russia invade Crimea and western Ukraine? That is a question that is difficult to answer.

President Zelensky of Ukraine had a good and positive meeting with President Biden on September 1, 2021. In the Ukrainian Diaspora, we were encouraged by the joint statements issued after the meeting. Now it is up to the United States to deliver on its promises and for Ukraine to live up to its commitments.

There are additional things we would like to see from the Biden Administration. We would like the U.S .to revitalize the Strategic Partnership Commission and upgrade to the Charter of Strategic Partnership. We would like Russia to be excluded from the SWIFT payment system, which would be a strong solid blow to their economy. Of course, we would like President Biden to visit Ukraine shortly; a trip like that would send a powerful support for Ukraine.

Crimea is Ukraine

I defiantly think this will happen. Of course, it won't be tomorrow. But it will happen. It is too expensive for Russia to maintain. Once greater sanctions are implemented on Moscow by the United States and the European Union, this will speed up the end result. 

When I think about Turkey and Ukraine, I remember when I first visited Istanbul. The one thing I desperately wanted to see was the grave of Roxolana, the wife of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Roxolana was a young Ukrainian girl who was captured in a raid by Turks; she became the most powerful woman in the kingdom and advised Suleyman in his military conquests. In my Saturday Ukrainian school, I also remember that we would read stories about the Turks crossing the Black Sea, landing on the shores of Ukraine, raiding villages, and capturing boys and girls who would serve the Sultan. It was said that the young boys who were captured would become the fiercest fighters in the Sultan's army. Probably many in Turkey have Ukrainian DNA in part because of these raids. Ali, who knows, you might have a Ukrainian DNA link.!

Medal from Ukrainian President 

I was very honored and humbled to personally receive a medal (award) from the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, for my human rights work on behalf of Ukraine. It was a wonderful moment in my life, and I will cherish the memory and the beautiful medal. It's a gorgeous metal inlaid with amethyst stones. When we have an in-person Ethnic Council meeting will bring my medal to show.

  • Published in Politics

Major Pressure on Russia During the Biden Era

The impacts of U.S. President Joe Biden's sanctions against Russia continue to be spoken in the world public opinion. The U.S. administration has stated that it has decided to impose sanctions against Russia for three reasons. Russia's interference in the presidential elections, the cyberattacks on the U.S. energy sector, and the reports that Russia paid bounties on the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan were indicated. In this framework, Biden Administration has announced that;

- The expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats
- As of June 14, the U.S. financial institutions will be banned from taking part in the primary market for bonds issued by the Central Bank of Russia, the National Wealth Fund of Russia, and the Russian Ministry of Finance
- 6 technology companies that support Russia's cyber activities are also on the sanction list
- There will also be sanctions imposed against 16 individuals and 16 media outlets that tried to interfere in the 2020 presidential elections.

Biden: "Now is time to de-escalate tensions."


By saying that "We could have gone further, but I chose not to do so," in his special 7-minute talk at the White House, President Biden underlined their unwillingness to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. Biden said, 
 
" I propose to Putin that we meet in person this summer in Europe. I expressed concern about Russia's military buildup on Ukraine's border and occupied and unoccupied Crimea. I affirmed U.S. support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of #Ukraine, and I strongly urge him to refrain from any military action."

Russian Aggression in Ukraine is Still a Major Problem

It is well known that the U.S. Administration is anxious about Russia's ever-increasing troop buildup around the east of Ukraine and provocations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and allied member countries in Brussels and made a joint statement on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Biden Administration is exercising intense international diplomacy to support Ukraine thoroughly and so that Russia does not take action similar to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Unclarity on U.S. Navy Ships in Black Sea  


The U.S. Department of Defense explained  that demand for warships going to the Black Sea wasn't made recently.In addition, Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that the U.S. has given up sending military ships. It is known that the U.S. The Navy routinely conducts operations within the NATO exercise framework in the Black Sea. It is expected that the U.S. will continue pressuring Russia by collaborating with the allies.

It is not clear whether the U.S. sanctions will bring any changes in Russia's actions especially considering that the previous precautions taken by the U.S. failed to terminate the Russian cyber attacks. Some Russian diplomats were also expelled in 2016 during former President Barack Obama's presidency due to Russia's interference. On the other hand, although Donald Trump does not criticize Putin, he had put in place the option of deporting some Russian diplomats upon the allegations of Russia's poisoning a former intelligence service agent in England in 2018.

Journalist, Ali Cinar

Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin in Brussels for Ukraine

After Russia massed troops on the Ukrainian border, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Brussels and announced again "the full support of the U.S. to Ukraine. "

There is heavy Ukrainian traffic in Brussels, the seat of the European Union and NATO. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to Brussels for a 2-day visit to hold talks on Iran and Afghanistan and Ukraine. Secretary of Defense Llyod Austin went to Brussels in the evening after his meeting with his German counterpart in Germany and joined Secretary Blinken.

Secretary Blinken met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba, who was in Brussels to seek support from the E.U. and NATO, in the first phase of their meeting the day before the extraordinary meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers. In his meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba, Secretary Blinken reiterated "the unwavering support of the United States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression." Secretary Blinken told reporters that "ongoing discussion for being Ukraine's a NATO member"

Speaking to journalists about his meeting with Kuleba, Secretary Blinken warned that since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, it has gathered the largest number of forces on the Ukrainian border, saying, "I conveyed the unwavering U.S. support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia. We continue to support Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration in the face of continued aggression in Donbas and Crimea."

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba is in Brussels seeking both political and military support from the E.U. and NATO. Political support statements were made from NATO, G7, and E.U. in the first place. However, no sign of military aid has yet come to Ukraine, which is not a member of the E.U. or  NATO.

Full support" from NATO to Ukraine

Alongside Secretary  Blinken, Kuleba met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and allied country representatives at the NATO-Ukraine joint meeting."NATO stands by Ukraine," said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who met with Kuleba at NATO headquarters. Kuleba asked the allies "not to repeat the mistakes that led to the annexation of Crimea and to give concrete support to Ukraine."

Continuing his contacts in Brussels, Kuleba also held an assessment meeting with permanent representatives of NATO member countries on the crisis. At the meeting, Kuleba explained that they expect "concrete and effective" support from NATO, directly conveying the events in the region to the member countries' representatives and asking Europe and NATO not to repeat the mistake that led to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg asked Russia to end the military buildup and provocations on the Ukrainian border and take steps to reduce tension. Stoltenberg said, "Russia's military buildup is unfair, inexplicable and deeply worrying. Russia should put an end to this military buildup in and around Ukraine, stop their provocations and calm down immediately."

NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu announced that NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg would meet with Blinken and Austin tomorrow at NATO headquarters.

Surprise Call with Putin:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. 

Here is the official statement after the call:

They discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty. President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference. President Biden emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions. President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with U.S. interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/04/13/readout-of-president-joseph-r-biden-jr-call-with-president-vladimir-putin-of-russia-4-13/

Journalist, Ali Cinar

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