- REUTERS/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Mikhail Palinchak
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is on his way to meet with Donald Trump in Washington this week, with plans to pin down Trump’s stance on Russia.
On June 19, Poroshenko’s press secretary announced that the Ukrainian president had left Ukraine for a working visit to Washington. Trump and Poroshenko will from June 19-20, a source told Kyivpost.com.
Since its 2013 pro-Europe revolution ousted then-President Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine has seen its former territory of Crimea annexed by Russia and a bloody, Russia-supported uprising in the country’s east.
Since Russia’s military entry into Ukraine, the US has put Russia under sanctions and relations between the two super powers have deteriorated. With Trump publically announcing his intention to revisit US-Russian relations upon taking office, Ukrainians have watched with bated breath.
In Ukraine, members of parliament told journalists that Poroshenko hoped to discuss Crimea, Washington’s role in reforms within Ukraine with Trump and the largely ineffective Minsk Protocol that both Russia and Ukraine had signed for an immediate ceasefire back in 2014.
The Ukrainian parliament “has appealed to American Congress to recognize Ukraine as its main ally within NATO along with the need to codify a direct wartime agreement between our countries,” wrote leader of the Ukrainian Radical Party Oleg Lyashko on his Facebook page.
After Trump’s election, both Russia and Ukraine had expressed hopes that the new administration would lead to closer ties between their countries – and, given Trump’s inconsistent views regarding the two countries, have both been disappointed thus far.
“We have no idea if [Trump] will keep his promises, because he can often change his mind overnight,” one Ukrainian official who knew of Poroshenko’s earlier phone calls with Trump, told reporters.