Biden Says Russian Sanctions Should Stay After Trump Takes Over

  • U.S. vice president makes final official visit to Ukraine
  • Trump has suggested he may relax measures against Russia

Vice President Joe Biden called for U.S. sanctions against Russia to remain in place after Donald Trump takes over the presidency this week, saying the measures shouldn’t be touched until a peace accord over Ukraine is fully implemented and Crimea returned.

In his last official visit to Kiev, Biden said Russia must ensure an end to the violence in eastern Ukraine and urged the global community to show solidarity. Ukraine should continue cooperating with the International Monetary Fund and complete energy and judicial reforms, he told reporters Monday after meeting President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman.

Speaking at a joint news conference, Poroshenko said he hopes for further support from U.S. leaders and that Ukraine will “remain among its priorities.”

The outgoing U.S. administration has been the strongest of Ukraine’s Western backers as the eastern European nation rebuilds its economy after a second revolution in a decade and amid a smoldering conflict in its easternmost regions. As well as political support, the U.S. has provided $3 billion of loan guarantees and helped push through a $17.5 billion bailout.

Biden has been a regular visitor to Kiev, where he’s banged the drum for reforming the post-communist economy. Trump has hinted at closer ties with Russia, which the U.S. sanctioned over its annexation of Crimea and involvement in the war in Ukraine.

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