US Vice President Joe Biden held bilateral talks in Kyiv with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko to the backdrop of two national anniversaries.
It was expected the US Vice President would announce a package of fresh aid for Kyiv. Instead the focus of both men turned to the conflict with Moscow.
“Ukraine marks the first anniversary of our Revolution of Dignity and the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Orange revolution. I think these two events have played a significant role in forming a new country. Now when Ukraine is at war for its independence, our country as never before needs wisdom and consolidation,” said Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko.
The US Vice President laid down a challenge to the Ukraine leaders calling for a new government “within days” and stressed the need to “route out the cancer of corruption”. But his strongest words were aimed at the Kremlin.
“Russian behaviour represents a flagrant violation of the bedrock principles of an international system, which is why the international community has responded with one voice. Amplifying your voice, Mr President; the voice of all Ukrainians. Helping Ukrainians defend their sovereignty and security of their nation,” said Vice President Joe Biden.
The vice president added Russia should respect the Minsk peace agreement, restore Ukrainian control over its own borders and remove “illegal military formations, military equipment and militants”.