US VP Biden to attend Ukraine leader's inauguration

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, right, wave as they exit Air Force 2, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Karl Gehring)

WASHINGTON: US Vice President Joe Biden will attend the inauguration of Ukraine's president-elect Petro Poroshenko later this week, the White House said Monday.

Biden will lead the US delegation to Kiev for Saturday's event and also meet with Ukrainian leaders to discuss "how the United States can assist Ukraine with fighting corruption, strengthening its democratic institutions, and putting its economy back on a path towards sustainable growth," a statement said.

The vice president will also meet with Ukraine leaders to discuss the president-elect's agenda and the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

US President Barack Obama is also scheduled to meet with Poroshenko in Poland on Wednesday, during a trip officials said was designed to underscore the US security commitment to eastern Europe amid the worst East-West crisis in years.

The United States has stood strongly by Ukraine as it battles a separatist insurgency in the east which Washington says is directed by Moscow.

The showdown between Washington and Moscow over the fate of Ukraine has brought relations to their lowest level since the Cold War.

Washington has been pursuing a campaign to isolate Putin over its annexation of Crimea -- which has included the cancellation of the G8 summit in Sochi this month, and Moscow's de facto expulsion from the group.

The White House said further details about Biden's trip would be released at a later date.





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