Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
Vice President Joe Biden spoke today with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about the situation in the east, the formation of a new government, and Ukraine’s commitment to reforms. President Poroshenko informed the Vice President about Russia’s blatant escalation of the situation in eastern Ukraine, including increased shelling of Ukrainian government positions and the transfer of additional heavy weapons to the separatists. The Vice President and President Poroshenko agreed it was critical for Russia to begin honoring its commitments under the September 5 Minsk Protocol, which calls, among other things, for Russia to: withdraw its troops, equipment and mercenaries from Ukraine; return control over the Ukrainian side of the international border to the Ukrainian government; allow for the deployment of an OSCE border monitoring mission; and return Ukrainian hostages captured by Russian forces and their proxies. The Vice President noted that if Russia continued to wilfully violate the terms of the Minsk agreement, the costs to Russia will increase. Finally, the Vice President urged the speedy conclusion of a coalition agreement to enable the Ukrainian government to continue the process of passing and then implementing reforms, and delivering on other commitments made to the Ukrainian people in the October 26 parliamentary elections.