This morning, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. Following their meeting, Secretary Kerry said:
"...What is unfolding in Ukraine has already gone on for far too long. It’s well past time for the violence to stop and for the people of Ukraine to begin the process of rebuilding their country and rebuilding it in a way that can have a relationship with Russia, with the West."
Secretary Kerry continued, "...Yesterday, Vice President Biden announced nearly $7 million in rapid assistance for humanitarian and rebuilding purposes to be deployed immediately. Specifically, these funds will go towards rebuilding eastern Ukraine, including the cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, where people celebrated in the streets recently when they were liberated from separatist control. We are also asking Congress for approval to provide financial support and mentoring to small businesses throughout Ukraine. Through mechanisms like the public-private partnerships and export promotion initiatives, we are hoping to inject additional resources into Ukraine’s economy so that together, all Ukrainians can rebuild their lives along with their cities.
"Over the past few months, the Ukrainian Government has taken a number of steps to try to bring about a better future for its people and to reform the government that had failed them so much in the past, including signing an historic association agreement with the European Union and also finalizing a vital standby arrangement with the International Monetary Fund. We strongly urge Ukrainians to continue the process of reforming their democracy, even if not particularly during this moment of crisis, because this is a troubling time where everyone is looking for those reforms to be implemented, and they can make a huge difference in rebuilding confidence and also in providing a sense in Russia that the concerns expressed by the separatists are, in fact, being listened to and being incorporated into the political process of Ukraine.
"The United States stands ready to support our Ukrainian partners in this effort, because we know that ultimately, a strong democratic government and a strong economy are the keys to providing the Ukrainian people with the stability and the prosperity that they want and that they deserve."
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