The Obama administration is prepared to “bring more resources to bear” to help Ukraine, but Washington and its allies are looking for more momentum from Kiev in forming a new government and implementing promised reforms, a senior U.S. official said as Vice President Biden arrived here late Thursday.
Biden’s “number one message is, ‘We’ve got your back,’ ” said the official, traveling with the vice president aboard Air Force Two. The “other” message to Ukraine, the official said, is that “we’re committed to helping you, but we can’t do it alone, so you have to help us help you.”
The trip comes amid Western accusations that Russia has failed to abide by the terms of a September cease-fire agreement between Kiev and pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine and has increased the flow of weapons and troops to help the rebels.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has asked the West for lethal military aid and more economic help as fighting in the east has reignited and winter nears.
U.S. lawmakers also have pressed for more aid to Kiev. Antony Blinken, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told Congress on Wednesday that “it’s time to provide defensive lethal military assistance to Ukraine and escalate pressure on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.” Blinken was testifying at a Senate hearing on his nomination to be deputy secretary of state.