Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Kristina Kvien Visited Mariupol and Berdyansk, Underscored Steadfast U.S. Commitment to Partnership with Ukraine

June 25, 2021  

(Kyiv, Ukraine) – Chargé d’Affaires Kristina Kvien traveled to Mariupol and Berdyansk June 25 to visit a Maritime Border Guard station supported by the Department of State’s Export Control and Border Security Program, part of a $4.5 million project in Mariupol and Berdyansk. While in Mariupol, Chargé Kvien also met with members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), management of the Mariupol Commercial Sea Port, and members of the business community supported by the USAID Economic Resilience Activity.

“By restricting maritime activity in Ukrainian waters, Russia is – yet again – trying to chip away at Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in this case at sea. And the United States’ response to this, as it has always been: standing steadfast with Ukraine in our support for its territorial integrity and its sovereignty,” Kvien said in her remarks at a ceremony to celebrate the construction of the Maritime Border Guard Station in Berdyansk.

During her visit to Mariupol and Berdyansk, Chargé Kvien’s expressed U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and maritime security despite Russia’s aggression and irresponsible activity at sea. U.S. security assistance to construct the Maritime Border Guard facility is a concrete demonstration of this U.S. commitment to Ukraine and will help Ukraine to maintain safe and free navigation and to protect Ukrainian sovereignty on its territorial waters.

In Mariupol, Chargé Kvien expressed her appreciation for the important work of the OSCE SMM and called on Russia to cease obstructing the mission and afford it full freedom of movement throughout all of Ukraine’s territory, including Crimea.  She also met with those coping with the profound economic consequences of Russia’s hybrid war and helping to drive economic growth. Chargé Kvien toured the Mariupol port to observe the effects of Russia’s continuing impediments to shipping in the Sea of Azov and commended the port management for their contributions to the region’s economy. Chargé Kvien also met with IT professionals and entrepreneurs, supported by USAID’s Economic Resilience Activity, a $72 million investment in the economy of eastern Ukraine.