The United States will stand by Ukraine to fight Russian aggression, which has become a prominent consideration for European security, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Biden said that supporting Ukraine is important for the future of the country, for the future of European security and for the future of the international order.
"So long as Ukraine's leaders keep faith with the project of reform, the U.S. will continue to stand with them," Biden said. U.S. sanctions on Russia must and will stay in place until the Minsk agreement is fully implemented, Biden added.
The Minsk agreement, reached in February by France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and pro-Russia separatists, called for a cease-fire and withdrawal of foreign troops and heavy weapons leading to a lasting solution to the conflict in Ukraine.
The U.S. focus will also be directly on addressing the humanitarian tragedy created by Russian aggression, Biden said.
In one of the most strongly worded speeches by a top American official, the vice president said that “Russia is taking steps to undermine its European neighbors and strengthen its hegemonic position,” which the United States and the West strongly condemn.
Since assuming the Russian presidency, Vladimir Putin has significantly changed, Biden said. He said Putin had shown contempt for the sovereignty of Russian neighbors, and therefore “the world looks different today than it did before [Putin] reassumed the presidency. ... As he has changed, so has our focus. We will continue to expose Russia to the world.”
Biden also said Putin's vision "has very little to offer the Russian people but myths” and is doomed to fail.