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Last week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Kyiv, where he emphasized that the United States will not waiver in its support of a strong and independent Ukraine. The Vice President praised Ukraine’s democratic achievements, noting that free and fair elections have become the norm, freedom of speech is exercised vigorously, and freedom of the press is well-respected. Vice President Biden stressed that U.S. efforts to reset relations with Russia will not come at the expense of any other country:
“Let me say this as clearly as I can. As we reset the relationship with Russia, we reaffirm our commitment to an independent Ukraine. And we recognize no sphere of influence, or no ability of any other nation to veto the choices an independent nation makes as to with whom and under what conditions they will associate.”
Vice President Biden also stated that the great promise of the 2004 Orange Revolution has yet to be fully realized. To achieve its full potential, and to help solve its current economic difficulties, Ukraine’s leaders need to put aside their political differences, work together to establish an effective, accountable government and take the necessary steps to provide a stable environment that will help lead to economic recovery.
"In a democracy, compromise is not a sign of weakness; it is evidence of strength," said Vice President Biden. "In my meetings, there was a clear recognition that much work remains to be done to make Ukraine more competitive and attractive to investors, from reforming your tax code to acting against corruption,” he said.
The United States will support Ukraine as it faces these difficult economic challenges. “As you take action," said Vice President Biden, "you will not stand alone. The United States wants to work with you to improve the investment climate, expand trade and investment between our two countries, and help in any effective way we can.”