Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk is to hold talks at the White House today when he expected to ask for guarantees of protection.
A1994 treaty which saw Ukraine give up its Soviet nuclear weapons obliges help should its sovereignty be threatened.
Following Russia’s intervention in Crimea, US Secretary of State John Kerry is struggling to make diplomatic headway.
US State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki explained the results of telephone calls between Kerry and his Russian counterpart:
“He also re-iterated his willingness to continue to engage with Foreign Minister Lavrov including this week, but that the environment has to be right and the goal must be to protect the immunity and sovereignty of Ukraine. And, we didn’t see that in the responses that we received back.”
Diplomacy is restricted at the moment to a war of words, with Moscow condemning US financial aid to what it sees as as an illegitimate regime in Kyiv. It claims ethnic Russians in Crimea have the right to break away.