- Title: In Kiev, Biden says world must stand against Russian aggression
- Date: 16th January 2017
- Summary: KIEV, UKRAINE (JANUARY 16, 2017) (REUTERS) BIDEN AND UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER, VOLODYMYR GROYSMAN, ENTERING, PEOPLE STANDING UP BIDEN AND GROYSMAN SHAKING HANDS AND POSING FOR PICTURE CAR WITH BIDEN INSIDE IN FRONT OF UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT'S OFFICE BIDEN GETTING OUT OFF CAR, WAVING / MEETING UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SHAKING HANDS WITH HIM / ENTERING BUILDING BIDEN AND POROSHENKO ENTERING BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "Crimea is Ukraine and we are grateful that the representatives of the new (U.S.) administration firmly stand on this position. Yes, sanctions are not a goal by itself, but a tool of pressure, influence and motivation for the Russian Federation to remain at the negotiations table, to implement Minsk agreements, to stop aggression and occupation." TOP VIEW OF NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "If you continue carrying your progress forward, then not only you will continue to build a more open, more democratic, more prosperous future that Ukrainian people deserve, you will keep the international community united behind you in that effort and I hope the next administration will also want to be a supporter and a partner in your continued progress." CAMERAS (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "You are fighting both against the cancer of corruption which continues to eat away at Ukraine's democracy within, and the unrelenting aggression of the Kremlin. Russia's continued attempts to undermine your success, your security, your sovereignty, and your territorial integrity are manifold." OFFICIALS AND MEDIA LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "Ukraine like every country in Europe has a right to determine its own path. Yet Russia seeks to deny that choice, and the international community must continue to stand as one against Russian aggression and coercion." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "Together with our EU and G7 partners, we made it clear that sanctions to remain in place until Russia fully, I emphasise, fully implements its commitments under the Minsk agreements. And that the Crimea related sanctions against Russia must remain in place until Russia returns full control to the people of Ukraine." JOURNALISTS BIDEN AND POROSHENKO SHAKING HANDS, POSING FOR PICTURE / BIDEN LEAVING, REPORTER ASKING QUESTION OFF CAMERA: "Mister Vice President may I ask one question about the next administration and your worry about them placing the same priority on Ukraine that you have?" U.S. VICE PRESIDENT, JOE BIDEN, ANSWERING (English): "Hope springs eternal." AND LEAVING
- Embargoed: 30th January 2017 12:23
- Keywords: Ukraine Russia Joe Biden Petro Poroshenko U.S. United Stated administration
- Location: KIEV, UKRAINE
- City: KIEV, UKRAINE
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0025ZBZ1AF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Outgoing U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called on Monday (January 16) for sanctions on Russia to stay, urging the world to stand up to its "coercion and aggression" after President-elect Donald Trump mooted ending the measures under a possible deal with Moscow.
Speaking on a swan song visit to Kiev, Biden said the G7 nations and European Union should lift the sanctions only after Russia had fully implemented a peace deal on ending a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine and returned control of Crimea.
Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday, raised the prospect that he would propose offering to end the sanctions imposed over Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and its role in the rebellion in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal.
Without mentioning Trump, Biden appeared to take issue with the President-elect's comments made in an interview published in Monday's edition of the Times of London.
"The international community must continue to stand as one against Russian coercion and aggression," he told reporters, standing alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Biden stressed the 2015 deal on ending the rebellion by pro-Russian insurgents which is still continuing, with Washington accusing Moscow of failing to keep its side of the bargain.
"Together with our EU and G7 partners, we made it clear that sanctions should remain in place until Russia fully, emphasise fully, implements its commitments under the Minsk agreement," he said, adding that Crimea-related sanctions must also stay "until Russia returns full control to the people of Ukraine", he said at a joint news conference with Petro Poroshenko in Kiev.
U.S. support for Ukraine has contributed to a deterioration in relations with Russia to their worst since the Cold War.
Under President Barack Obama, Washington has invested heavily in helping Kiev make a success of a 2013-2014 uprising which forced a Kremlin-backed leader to flee and installed the pro-Western opposition in power.
Trump's open admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin and stated desire to improve bilateral ties have stoked fears in Kiev that U.S. resolve to hold Russia to account could waver.
Biden has mixed support with some tough talking about Ukraine's patchy efforts in tackling graft, and has previously warned that international help is conditional on Kiev making good on promises to tackle endemic bribe-taking.
"You're fighting... the cancer of corruption," Biden, who leaves office on Jan. 20 along with Obama, said on Monday.
Poroshenko said Ukraine believed in good cooperation with the new U.S. administration and urged sanctions to stay, without mentioning Trump's remarks on a deal with Russia.
Biden has been the front man for U.S. policy towards Ukraine, visiting Kiev five times since the change in power and maintaining such regular telephone contact with Ukrainian officials that he has joked he talks to them more than his wife.
As Biden left the room, a journalist asked if he thought the Trump administration would give Ukraine the same priority as he had. Biden gave a thumbs up and said: "Hope springs eternal."
Continued Western support is vital for Ukraine. The economy, which has been badly hit by the war in the east, is slowly emerging from two years of recession but remains dependent on external financial help. The United States has so far provided over $3 billion and said it could offer more, provided reform efforts continue.
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