WARSAW – President Obama met with Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko Wednesday morning and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to ensuring Ukraine has the support and resources needed to succeed.
“Ukraine has gone through a very challenging time. And what we have seen has been an incredible outpouring of democracy in the face of actions by Russia, as well as armed militias in certain portions of the east who violate international law and international sovereignty,” Obama said at the end of the meeting. “Despite all that, what the Ukrainians said in the elections that resulted in the election of president elect Poroshenko … is that they reject violence, they reject corruption.”
“In my discussion with [Poroshenko] today, it’s clear that he understands the aspirations and the hopes of the Ukrainian people,” the president added.
The president said he and Poroshenko discussed economic plans for Ukraine, as well as how Ukraine could become more energy independent so that it could rely less on Russia.
Calling Poroshenko by his first name at times, Obama said he was impressed with Poroshenko’s vision for Ukraine stemming from his career as a businessman. Poroshenko gained the nickname of the “Chocolate King” because of a successful confectionery business he owned.
Obama said the U.S. was prepared to offer non-lethal aid, including night-vision goggles, to Ukraine.
Speaking in English, Poroshenko thanked President Obama for his continuous support of Ukraine.
Poroshenko will be inaugurated on Saturday in Kiev. Vice President Joe Biden is set to attend.