01:28 GMT +321 September 2019
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    US President Barack Obama and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk speak during meetings in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, March 12, 2014

    Obama Hails ‘Ukrainian Reforms’, Says Anti-Russian Sanctions Will Stay

    © AFP 2019 / Saul LOEB
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    US President Barack Obama praised the visiting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk for implementing ”much-needed reforms” and pledged to keep in place Washington’s sanctions against Russia.

    President Obama and Vice President Biden both expressed “unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” and underscored the United States’ commitment to maintaining sanctions on Russia “until it fully implements its obligations under the Minsk agreements.”

    The President and Vice President commended the Ukrainian government for the steps it has taken to implement its obligations under the Minsk agreements, including the submission to Ukraine's parliament of draft constitutional amendments on decentralization.

    Russia denies any meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs and failure to implement the terms of the Minsk accords.

    The President and Vice President also welcomed Kiev’s “ambitious economic reform agenda”, as well as the “government’s strong stand against populist measures that could undermine Ukraine's financial stability.”

    The leaders agreed on the importance of Ukraine passing additional reform measures, including in the energy sector, to fulfil its commitments to the IMF and other international financial institutions.

    Arseniy Yatsenyuk arrived in Washington on Monday at the head of a high-powered delegation of Cabinet ministers to attend the US-Ukraine Business Forum, which closed later in the day.

    In his speech to close the forum Vice President Joseph Biden mixed high praise with pointed warnings for the Ukrainian Premier to start actively curbing and punishing corruption in his country.


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    International Monetary Fund, anti-Russian sanctions, corruption, praise, economic reforms, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Joseph Biden, Barack Obama, Ukraine, United States
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