Biden: Unite in face of Russian 'aggression'
16 Jan 2017 - 22:55
Kiev: Outgoing US Vice President Joe Biden yesterday urged the international community to remain united in the face of Russian "aggression", insisting sanctions on Moscow should stay over its actions in Ukraine.
Biden's comments during a visit to Kiev to voice support for Ukraine's pro-Western leaders came as US President-elect Donald Trump signals closer ties with the Kremlin.
"Russia's continued attempts to undermine your success, your security, your sovereignty and your territorial integrity are manifold," Biden said at a joint press briefing with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
"Together with our EU and G7 partners we made it clear that sanctions should remain in place until Russia fully... implements its commitments under the Minsk agreement," he said referring to a February 2015 peace deal aimed at ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
"The international community must continue to stay as one against Russian aggression and coercion." Biden's half-day visit was aimed at underscoring his personal involvement in providing support for the former Soviet country amid concerns that ties could chill under Trump. Biden has spearheaded efforts by Barack Obama's outgoing adminstration to push Ukraine towards reforms as the country struggles with Russia's annexation of Crimea and its support for separatist fighters in the east. Ukraine and its Western allies including the United States accuse Russia of fuelling the war by deploying troops and smuggling arms to separatists, claims Moscow has repeatedly denied.