Biden holds first name with Ukrainian president amid Russian ‘aggression’ within the area


President Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday of their first dialog since Biden took workplace.

The telephone name got here amid what the White Home has referred to as escalations of Russian “aggression” in jap Ukraine, the place Ukrainian forces have been preventing Russian-backed separatists since 2014.   

Biden “affirmed america’ unwavering assist for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression within the Donbas and Crimea,” a White Home readout of the decision mentioned. 

The president reiterated his assist for the U.S.’s “strategic partnership” with Ukraine and of Zelensky’s anti-corruption agenda “primarily based on our shared democratic values that delivers justice, safety, and prosperity to the folks of Ukraine,” the White Home added.

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Earlier than Biden’s name, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and different high U.S. officers had spoken with their Ukrainian counterparts concerning the problem in a minimum of three calls, based on Politico.

Blinken expressed the administration’s “unwavering assist for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression” within the area throughout one of many calls, the State Division mentioned.

Ukraine had pushed for the decision with Biden for weeks as a present of assist towards Russia, Politico reported.

The Russian escalations embrace violations of a July 2020 ceasefire, brokered by the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe, that led to the deaths of 4 Ukrainian troopers within the jap a part of the nation on March 26 and the wounding of two others, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby mentioned.

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The Ukrainian army mentioned the 4 had been killed in a mortar assault it blamed on Russian troops. Russia denies having a army presence within the area. The State Division mentioned Blinken expressed condolences for the losses. 

“Russia’s destabilizing actions undermine the de-escalation in tensions that had been achieved via an OSCE-brokered settlement again in July of final 12 months,” Kirby mentioned of the reported lots of of ceasefire violations in latest days. “Moreover, we’re conscious of Ukrainian army reviews regarding Russian troop actions on Ukraine’s borders.” 

The Biden administration has authorized $125 million in deadly help to Ukraine not too long ago for protection towards Russia, based on Politico

Earlier than the 2020 election, then-President Trump accused Biden of abusing his workplace when he was vp in forcing the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor to assist his son Hunter Biden who was on the board of Ukrainian oil firm Burisma on the time. No proof of wrongdoing has been discovered. 

Trump himself was accused of asking Zelensky to research the Bidens throughout a July 2019 telephone name, which led to his first impeachment in 2019 because it appeared seemingly Biden can be his political opponent. He was acquitted in February 2020. 

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The White Home readout of Biden’s name with Zelensky added the 2 leaders additionally mentioned the “significance of shut United States-Ukraine cooperation to comprise the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen democracy within the area.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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