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Ukraine on way to 'joint victory' with West over Russia: FM

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) meets Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 12, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has praised the Western military assistance during the nearly nine months of war with Russia, saying "it's only together" with the West that Kiev will be able to prevail in the conflict.

Kuleba said on Saturday that "when victory comes, it will be our joint success ” with the West.

"There were very few who believed that Ukraine would survive," Kuleba said as he met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian summit in Cambodia. He hailed the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson city in southern Ukraine on Friday, in a move that Russia described as the "difficult decision." Kuleba said, "It's only together that we will be able to prevail and to kick Russia out of Ukraine. We are on the way."

"This is coming, and our victory will be our joint victory -- a victory of all peace-loving nations across the world."

Kuleba also said he "will always be grateful for everything President (Joe) Biden and the people of America, irrespective of their domestic political preferences, have done to make this happen. "

Earlier, the Ukrainian diplomat thanked Australia for its support -- $440 million of mostly military assistance -- during a meeting with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

In October, Australia pledged an extra 30 Bushmaster armored vehicles to Ukraine and allocated 70 Australian defense personnel to train Ukrainian soldiers in Britain.

"I understand that everyone wants this war to end as soon as possible. We are definitely the ones who want that more than anyone else," he said.

"But as long as the war continues, and we see Russia mobilizing more conscripts and bringing more weapons to Ukraine, of course we will continue to count on your continued support," Kuleba said.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February, claiming that the war was meant to "de-Nazify" the country. Ever since the war began, Moscow has repeatedly warned that supplying Kiev with more and more weapons will only exacerbate the conflict, which is now in its ninth month.

Earlier this week, the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said the US has prolonged the war to profit from its sales of military equipment and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to European countries. He said that the US administration "cannot escape responsibility for prolonging the conflict and killing innocent people."

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