Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is paying official visit to United States—first official visit to U.S. since he took an auth as Ukrainian President.
Poroshenko addressed a joint meeting of Congress Sept 18, thanking lawmakers for their support of Kiev in its fight against Russian-backed separatists. The president's speech was punctuated by repeated applause and standing ovations.
Poroshenko also met U.S. President Barack Obama, hoping to convince the U.S. president to provide weapons to Ukrainian government forces battling pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Before the September 18 meeting with President Obama, Poroshenko noted the United States has been giving Ukraine non-lethal supplies and equipment but Poroshenko said, "Blankets and night visions goggles are important, but one cannot win a war with a blanket."
Speaking in the Oval Office after the two presidents held their meeting, Obama condemned what he called "Russian aggression, first in Crimea, and most recently in portions of eastern Ukraine."
Obama praised Poroshenko for the leadership the Ukrainian president, saying that leadership has "been critical at a very important time in Ukraine's history."
Obama said the United States would continue to help Ukraine find a diplomatic solution to the crisis the country faces.
Poroshenko thanked Obama for the "enormous" support the United States has shown Ukraine.
Poroshenko concluded his comments by saying his top priority and the greatest priority for his nation and its people was peace.
"The only way we can deescalate the situation in the east of my country is the peace process and the peace plan, which included the cease-fire, inclusive dialogue inside of Ukraine, withdrawing Russian troops from my territory, closing the border for troops, for weapons and ammunition, releasing immediately all the hostages, and that is what the whole is waiting for from us," Poroshenko said.
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