Obama meets Poroshenko, pledges aid

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IOL pic jun4 obama Poroshenko meeting Reuters US President Barack Obama meets with Ukraine's president-elect, Petro Poroshenko, in Warsaw on June 4, 2014. Obama promised on Tuesday to beef up military support for eastern European members of the Nato alliance who fear they could be next in the firing line after the Kremlin's intervention in Ukraine. Picture: Kevin Lamarque

Warsaw - United States President Barack Obama on Wednesday called Ukraine's president-elect, Petro Poroshenko, a “wise selection” to lead the country and pledged more military aid to help address security threats from Russian-backed separatists.

Obama, speaking to reporters after a meeting with Poroshenko in Warsaw, said they discussed the new leader's plan to restore peace, boost economic growth, and reduce energy dependence on Russia.

“In my discussions with him today it's clear he understands the hopes and aspirations of the Ukrainian people,” Obama said.

Obama said he discussed with Poroshenko ways the United States can help train Ukrainian law enforcement and military personnel.

The White House said in a statement after the meeting that Obama had approved an additional $23 million in defence security assistance to Ukraine since early March, including $5 million for “the provision of body armour, night vision goggles, and additional communications equipment”.

Ukrainians have urged Washington to provide more support to help reduce concerns over Russian intervention in the country.

The White House said other aid has included 300 000 ready-to-eat meals and financing for medical supplies, helmets, hand-held radios and other equipment. - Reuters



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