Biden travels to Ukraine to show support against Russia

Biden travels to Ukraine to show support against Russia

Vice President Biden is heading to Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday to reassure the nation of U.S. support against Russian aggression.

Clashes between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists have lulled recently, but combat has claimed more than 8,000 lives since fighting began in April 2014.

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Ukrainian officials fear the conflict has been overshadowed by the civil war in Syria and the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Biden will meet with President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Monday and deliver a speech before Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday to alleviate concerns that the U.S. has forgotten about its Eastern European ally.

The trip “is a strong sign of our support,” a senior U.S. administration official told the Associated Press.

The official said Biden will encourage Ukraine to adopt anti-corruption measures.

Widespread governmental corruption led to massive protests that ousted Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, which Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinDOJ releases new tranche of Mueller witness documents Russia's shakeup has implications for Putin, Medvedev and the US The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week MORE has used to justify his invasion and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

The U.S. administration also said the vice president will reassure Ukraine that Washington will not relax economic sanctions on Russia.

The visit comes on the heels of President Obama’s meeting with Putin at the Paris COP21 climate talks last week.