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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid