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Video: Biden admin suggests there won’t be Ukrainian elections until war ends

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Los Angeles. (Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
May 16, 2024

In a recent speech in Kyiv, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken seemed to indicate that elections would not take place in Ukraine until the Russia-Ukraine war ends and “all Ukrainians” could vote.

During a Tuesday speech at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Blinken highlighted the United States’ continued partnership with Ukraine to help strengthen the country’s election infrastructure.

“We’re working with the government and civil society groups to shore up Ukraine’s election infrastructure,” Blinken said. “That way, as soon as Ukrainians agree that conditions allow, all Ukrainians – all Ukrainians, including those displaced by Russia’s aggression – can exercise their right to vote. People in Ukraine and around the world can have confidence that the voting process is free, fair, secure.”

Throughout his speech, Blinken emphasized the importance of eliminating corruption in Ukraine and warned that “eight in ten Ukrainians still believe that there’s one set of law for the elites and another for everyone else.” However, while Blinken said Ukraine’s democracy would be “weakened” if its citizens stopped believing they could hold the government accountable and “fix the flaws” in Ukraine, the secretary of state did not encourage free elections to be held until all Ukrainians could vote.

According to The Kyiv Independent, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected in April and inaugurated in May of 2019. The outlet noted that if the country did not remain under martial law due to the country’s ongoing war with Russia, the next presidential election would have been held at the end of March and Zelensky’s presidential term would end on May 20.

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In his speech, Blinken assured Ukraine that it would continue to receive the support of the United States.

“The United States has been by your side from day one. We’re with you today. And we will stay by your side, until Ukraine’s security, its sovereignty, its ability to choose its own path is guaranteed,” the secretary of state said.

“Indeed, the American people’s support for Ukraine has been consistent over the course of the war; it has never wavered,” Blinken added. “Americans understand that our support for Ukraine strengthens the security of the United States and our allies.”

The Post Millennial reported that Blinken’s latest appearance in Kyiv was the first visit by the Biden administration since the United States approved additional taxpayer funding for Ukraine. According to CNN, despite the United States approving additional funding for Ukraine, Zelensky asked Blinken to have the United States provide another wave of military aid during the Biden cabinet member’s visit.