Obama, Poroshenko discuss Ukraine situation

President Barack Obama reaffirmed Thursday the US commitment to helping Ukraine address its security and economic problems.

In addition to supporting Ukraine through security and economic assistance, the United States will continue to help mobilize the international community toward a diplomatic solution to Russian aggression in Ukraine, he said in a joint Oval Office appearance with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko. In remarks following their meeting, Obama said Poroshenko “is balancing a lot of different variables in a very difficult situation, but he is the right man for the job.” “He is committed to upcoming elections that will further allow the people of Ukraine to set the direction for their country, and we are prepared to support Ukraine in negotiations with Russia in order to make sure that the Ukrainian people can enjoy the kind of freedom and prosperity that is their right,” Obama affirmed.

Poroshenko, who earlier in the day addressed a joint session of the US Congress, said he was impressed by the level of bipartisan support for Ukraine that was demonstrated in the Congress.

He thanked Obama for “his leadership in the world, for protecting Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence,” noting that: “This is a true leadership defending democracy and freedom.” Poroshenko said peace was his top priority, and that he expected the continuation of the Minsk dialogue in the coming days.

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