On Friday, July 2, 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kyiv, Ukraine. Secretary Clinton and President Yanukovych discussed how Ukraine and the United States can deepen and expand our strategic partnership, as well as other issues, including economic reform, energy reform, and the importance of protecting Ukraine's democracy by supporting a strong civil society.
Secretary Clinton said, "As Ukraine moves forward, the country will face questions about its place in the region and the world. Some have tried to force Ukrainians into a choice between aligning your country with Russia or with the West. We believe that is a false choice. Ukraine is an independent nation, and we hope Ukraine will have good relations with its neighbors -- including Russia -- and that Ukraine will pursue close, constructive relationships with the United States and countries of the European Union."
She continued, "We do not believe in the concept of 'spheres of influence.' We believe that it is up to Ukrainians to chart your own course towards your own future. And in doing so, you can count on the support and friendship of the United States."
Read the Secretary's full remarks here.