Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s Interview with Dagný Hulda Erlendsdóttir of RÚV, Iceland

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
Reykjavík, Iceland
May 16, 2023


QUESTION: So first, what outcome are you hoping for from the summit?

AMBASSADOR LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Thank you very much. I am here to work with all of our partners in Europe, in the Council of Europe, to send a unified message to Russia and a unified message to Ukraine. That message to Ukraine is that we support you, we stand with you; and the message to Russia is that we will continue to condemn your actions until you pull your troops out of Ukraine. And I think that’s a message we have consistently passed in New York at the Security Council, and the Council of Europe has been a very strong voice as well, having been one of the first organizations to expel Russia.

QUESTION: And the main aim of the summit is to create some kind of system to register the damage Russia has caused in Ukraine. Is the U.S. willing to participate in funding that?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: We absolutely are willing to participate. We’re very proud to associate ourselves with this effort, and the President has committed to working with Congress to get the necessary funds to make a contribution.

QUESTION: The U.S. has been supporting Ukraine in many ways. Are you worried that if the war drags on for years that the support for this will decrease in Congress?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: The President has been very consistent in working with our Congress, with both sides, and has received bipartisan support for our efforts with Ukraine, and we expect that to continue as long as it’s needed. We all hope that peace will come about soon, but the quickest way to get us to peace is for Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine. They started this war, and they can end it tomorrow by withdrawing their troops.

QUESTION: And for most of the states there’s a lot of talk about making Putin accountable and his regime for their crimes. Do you think that will happen in the end?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: It has to happen in the end. The ICC has issued an indictment of President Putin. He has committed war crimes in Ukraine. They have committed crimes against humanity. And this has all been done at the direction of President Putin. And it is clear that the world wants to see him held accountable for this. This is why we’re meeting here today in Iceland to talk about accountability, to set up the register so that we can gather the data to support holding them accountable in the end.

QUESTION: Thank you. Is there anything you would like to add?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: I just want to express my appreciation to the Government of Iceland for hosting us. We have an extraordinarily strong partnership with Iceland. I was able today to get out of the city a bit, and I visited Thingvellir Park and I also had an opportunity to visit a hydrothermal plant to see what you’re doing on the climate side. And that’s a strong priority for us as well, so I look forward to continuing our partnership with Iceland moving forward in the future.

QUESTION: Thank you.