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Biden Speaks to Ukrainian, US Business Leaders


FILE - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk after attending joint press conference.

Vice President Joe Biden said that the world has an obligation to take advantage of the historic opportunity to build on Ukraine's economic growth.

"This may be the last genuine opportunity the people of Ukraine have to establish a democratic republic in a way that is economically prosperous and fully integrated within Europe," Biden said.

The vice president spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Monday at a forum for U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders. The forum brought together those leaders for high-level talks aimed at advancing the Ukrainian economy, marking the first time the two business communities have officially met since the 2014 revolution.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the forum that Ukrainians and Americans stand shoulder to shoulder "to make the world really free."

The Ukrainian prime minister called for his country's creditors to "be cooperative and collaborative," saying that this would be a key way of making Ukraine a success story. He also addressed the issue of corruption, acknowledging that the roots of the problem go deep in Ukraine, but he stressed that Kyiv is working to address it.

"Please American investors jump in — we are happy to see you in Ukraine," Yatsenyuk said.

In remarks before the prime minister, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said that Ukrainian leaders want to work with U.S. business leaders to "build a comprehensive pro-business agenda."