Barack Obama prods Ukraine on economic reforms

  • 14/07/2015
Barack Obama (Reuters)
Barack Obama (Reuters)

President Barack Obama has urged Ukraine to follow through with tough economic reforms in order to meet its commitments to the International Monetary Fund and other global lenders.

During a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Monday (local time), President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hailed Kiev's "ambitious" economic reform plan, the White House said.

They hailed "the government's strong stand against populist measures that could undermine Ukraine's financial stability", a statement added.

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

On the brink of default after more than a year of brutal civil war, Ukraine received a four-year, $17.5 billion IMF loan program in March.

Obama and Biden also expressed "unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and underscored the US commitment to maintaining sanctions on Russia until it fully implements its obligations under the Minsk agreements," the White House said.

Prime Minister Yatsenyuk also welcomed an announcement that the US military is considering a plan to train Ukrainian army soldiers.

He suggested he was optimistic the US would also start sending weapons that Ukraine says it needs to defend itself against Russian aggression.

Western powers accuse Moscow of arming a rebellion in eastern Ukraine and of deploying troops there. Russia denies the claims.