On final Ukraine trip, Biden urges Trump administration to keep Russia sanctions9 days ago
Comments while meeting with Ukraines president came after Trump indicated he could aim Crimea-related sanctions in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal
Vice-president Joe Biden, on a last foreign journey before leaving office, fulfilled Ukraines president on Monday and called on the incoming Donald Trump administration to retain Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia.
Bidens comments at a briefing with Petro Poroshenko came after Trump indicated in an interview with the Times and Bild that he could aim sanctions imposed in the aftermath Russias 2014 annexation of Crimea, in return for a nuclear arms reduction bargain.
Trumps attitude to Russia and praise for Vladimir Putin has been a consistently controversial feature of his rise to the White House, which will be completed with his inauguration in Washington on Friday.
US intelligence agencies believe Russia sought to covertly influence the US election in Trumps favour and against the Democratic nominee, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Trump has recently admitted that he believes Russia did orchestrate such hackers, but has nonetheless fuelled a bitter feud with intelligence officials over the issue.
The international community must continue to stand as one against Russian coercion and aggression, Biden told reporters, standing alongside Poroshenko, in remarks which did not include reference to Trump by name.
The Crimea-related sanctions against Russia must remain in place until Russia returns full control to the people of Ukraine.
Together with our EU and G7 partners, Biden said, we made it clear that sanctions should remain in place until Russia fully, emphasise fully, enforces its commitments under the Minsk agreement.
Poroshenko said Ukraine believed in good cooperation with the new US administration and urged sanctions to stay, without mentioning Trumps statements on a deal with Russia.
Andy Hunder, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, said Kiev would have to put much time and resources into dealing with the new US administration.
On 20 January Ukraine will be waking up to a new reality, he told Reuters. There is a concern in Kiev about how the new relationship will develop. It will require constructing new bridges to the influencers, the gatekeepers and decision-makers.
Kiev has taken steps to win the very best favour of the those calling the shoots in the Trump administration. Days after the election in November, Poroshenkos office started planning an official visit to Washington in early 2017.
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