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Obama Meeting Ukraine's New PM at White House

U.S. President Barack Obama is meeting this hour with Ukraine's interim prime minister at the White House, as the standoff between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian region of Crimea continues.

This is President Obama's first meeting with interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and is meant to underscore U.S. support for the new government and the Ukrainian people.

As part of their talks, Mr. Yatsenyuk and President Obama are discussing financial assistance for Ukraine. The U.S. already has pledged $1 billion in aid.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator John McCain is set to lead a bipartisan delegation to Kyiv Thursday. A spokesman described the visit as a show of congressional support for the interim government, "and for the Ukrainian people's aspirations for freedom, democracy and territorial integrity."



The visit comes three days ahead of a Moscow-backed referendum in Crimea on joining Russia that Western governments are calling illegal. It also overlaps an emergency meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, Friday in London.

Republican McCain and Democrat Christopher Murphy visited Kyiv in December, at the height of anti-government protests that eventually forced pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country.

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