News / Europe

Clinton Reaffirms Support for Non-Aligned Ukraine

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday reaffirmed U.S. support for a non-aligned Ukraine, saying the notion Kyiv should be oriented toward either the United States or Russia is a "false choice." Clinton held talks in Kyiv with key Ukrainian political figures including President Viktor Yanukovych.

Mr. Yanukovych, who scored a narrow election victory in February to return as Ukraine's president after a six-year absence, is widely seen as being more pro-Russian than his predecessor, Victor Yushchenko.

But he has sent mixed signals in his first months in office, curtailing Ukrainian ties with NATO, but also promising to continue democratic reforms and pledging at last April's Washington summit on nuclear security to give up Ukraine's stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

At a joint press event with Mr. Yanukovych, Clinton said Ukrainians should resist those trying to force their country into a choice between aligning with Russia or the West.

Clinton Reaffirms Support for Non-Aligned Ukraine
Clinton Reaffirms Support for Non-Aligned Ukraine

"We believe that is a false choice. Ukraine is an independent nation and we hope Ukraine will have good relations with its neighbors, including Russia, and that Ukraine will pursue close constructive relationships with the United States and countries of the European Union," said Clinton.  "We do not believe in the concept of spheres of influence. We believe it is up to Ukrainians to chart your own course to your own future," she stressed.

Mr. Yanukovych, for his part, welcomed U.S. support for Ukrainian economic reforms and in critical negotiations under way this week on an International Monetary Fund aid package for Ukraine.

Heard through an interpreter, the Ukrainian president said his government is grateful for consistent American support for its independence since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

"We highly appreciate the consistent position of the United States, that was reaffirmed today, to guarantee Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and the inviolability of its borders. This is of special importance to Ukraine as a European, non-bloc nation. I want to emphasize that the United States of America is our reliable strategic partner."

The talks here also covered energy, including Ukraine's often problematic role as host of a critical  pipeline for Russian gas supplies to Europe.

Mr. Yuschenko told Clinton Ukraine will seek financing from Russia and Western Europe for a new gas pipeline across its territory to assure uninterrupted supplies.

Clinton said economic reforms could clear the way for U.S. investments to help develop Ukraine's own energy resources including gas from shale deposits and civil nuclear energy.

The secretary also met at her Kyiv hotel with opposition leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Mr. Yanukovych's arch-rival who faces possible prosecution for alleged misdeeds in office.

At an earlier meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryschchenko, Clinton again said the U.S. administration intends to pursue better relations with Moscow despite revelations this week of an alleged Russian spy ring in the United States.

The secretary cited President Obama's description of the spy affair as something from the 20th century.

"We are now 10 years into the 21st century and we are looking toward the future, and are committed to taking actions which are in the interests of American security and values, and also by the way in the interests of the kind of future that the leaders of Russia tell us they wish to have for their own people."

Clinton declined comment on whether any Russian officials identified as handlers of the alleged spies might be expelled from the United States.

Senior U.S. officials earlier this week appeared to rule out any diplomatic repercussions over the affair.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs