Seeking elusive military and economic aid from the United States, President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine headed to North America on Tuesday, while also facing increasingly skeptical questions both here and abroad about the slow pace of change.
A White House meeting with President Obama and an address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday are likely to generate fresh moral support, if little else, for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
“It is a clear sign of solidarity and support from the United States,” Pavlo Klimkin, the foreign minister, said in a brief interview before leaving.
Photo opportunities alone are enough to help Mr. Poroshenko domestically, although given its raft of problems, Ukraine would like more. Winter looms with gas supplies from Russia cut off; it is unclear that limited self-rule for Russian-backed separatists regions is enough to satisfy the Kremlin; and the country is spending itself toward bankruptcy.
Ukraine’s leaders tried to put a celebratory face on new laws pushed through Parliament on Tuesday, even if they were mostly symbolic at this stage. One ratified closer economic and political ties with Europe, while the second tried to cement a recent truce with the separatists by supporting temporary self-rule for the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.