Ukraine leader calls for ‘larger' US response

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wants the United States to work with countries in Europe to increase pressure on Russia.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Poroshenko called for Washington to take the lead on a "larger response" with tougher sanctions for Moscow and new assistance programs for Ukraine.

In the wake of Russian separatists’ alleged downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, he wrote, the stakes have become clearer than ever.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Working together with the European Union, Washington can shape a worldwide coalition of nations in support of Ukraine to ensure that these terrorists are not able to strike again,” he wrote.

“Russia needs to know that the international community is serious. It is long past time for it to act.”

Poroshenko pointed the finger for the airplane crash, which killed 298 passengers earlier this month, directly at Moscow. A tragedy like that was inevitable, he wrote, after Moscow decided to arm militias in Ukraine’s east.

“Like giving a handgun to a child, Moscow permitted the transfer of a highly sophisticated surface-to-air missile system to terrorists,” Poroshenko wrote.

To counteract that influence, he asked for Europe to begin targeting sanctions at entire sections of the Russian economy, a move that the U.S. has already announced but other countries have so far been hesitant to do. Washington, too, should impose “even tougher and wider-reaching sectoral sanctions,” he wrote.

Poroshenko also asked for U.S. military advisors to deploy quickly to Ukraine to safeguard the borders and “unwind the insurgency with minimal violence.”

Washington could also help build up the Ukranian financial, energy and agricultural sectors, he wrote, as well as clamp down on corruption.

“To stop Russia, it will take the global community acting in concert,” he wrote. “Working together, we will not allow Moscow to stand in the way of creating a new open, united and prosperous Ukraine.”