US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kiev as part of her diplomatic tour of Europe. Relations with President Viktor Yushchenko’s administration are warm, and Rice will be looking to boost military co-operation.
Earlier she visited Romania, another ally and NATO hopeful. The two sides signed a deal to open US military bases in the country.
The agreement comes at a sensitive time for both Washington and Bucharest, with the US under fire for allegedly running secret prisons in the region. According to Human Rights Watch, an airfield on Romania’s Black sea coast may already have been used as a secret CIA jail.
The CIA controversy also dogged Rice’s visit to Germany. It is claimed that a German man was mistakenly imprisoned by US intelligence after being arrested in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and flown to Afghanistan.
“I’m pleased to say that we spoke about this particular case,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “I’m very pleased that Foreign Minister Rice has reiterated that, if mistakes are made, they must be rectified immediately. Actions must always conform to the law.”
Rice’s trip to Berlin was aimed at repairing the damage done to US-German relations by the Iraq war. Merkel, who is seen as more pro-American than her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder, is also keen to wipe the slate clean.