On the second day of his trip to Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden offered words of support to Ukraine and to leaders of its interim government, while also criticizing Russia for its recent actions.

From the NY Times:

Vowing that the United States would never recognize Russia’s “illegal occupation” of Crimea last month, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday reiterated America’s support of Ukraine, declaring that “no nation has the right to simply grab land from another” and calling on Russia to stop supporting masked gunmen who have seized government buildings across the east of the country.

Mr. Biden’s remarks, made during a meeting with Ukraine’s interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, signaled strong American backing for the shaky new government in Kiev that Moscow does not recognize and condemns as the illegitimate fruit of a putsch engineered by the West.

“…We, the United States, stand with you and all the Ukrainian people on a Ukraine united,” Biden said while speaking alongside Yatsenyuk.  “And I’ll say at the top we do not recognize — we do not recognize — Russia’s actions in the Crimea.”

[Full remarks available here.]


Biden also announced a new financial aid package to Ukraine, according to CNN.

As well as voicing solidarity with Kiev, Biden promised financial support, assistance in reducing Ukraine’s dependence on Russian energy sources and nonlethal aid for security forces.

“You will not walk this road alone. We will walk it with you,” Biden told Yatsenyuk.

As he spoke, the White House announced a $50 million package of assistance to help Ukraine pursue political and economic reform and strengthen its partnership with the United States.

Biden said he also expects an International Monetary Fund package for Ukraine to be finalized imminently.

The U.S. last month also pledged additional financial aid to Ukraine in the form of a $1 billion loan guarantee and other assistance.

[Featured image: Reuters video via The Guardian]