Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (August 28)

Vice President Joe Biden spoke today with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about the situation in the Donbas, Ukrainian political and economic reforms, and implementation of the Minsk agreements.  The Vice President congratulated President Poroshenko on reaching agreement with Ukraine’s commercial creditors on debt restructuring, and welcomed news of an agreement among several pro-reform political forces to run a common slate of candidates in Ukraine’s local elections this October.  The Vice President also emphasized the United States’ strong support for constitutional amendments proposed by President Poroshenko and Ukraine’s Constitutional Commission that will allow for meaningful decentralization of power in keeping with the relevant provisions of the Minsk agreements while preserving Ukraine’s unitary state structure.  The two leaders discussed the situation in the eastern part of the country and condemned the escalation of attacks by combined Russian-separatist forces, to include attacks on OSCE monitors.  The Vice President also strongly criticized statements by separatist leaders indicating their intention to take additional territory and hold local elections outside of the Ukrainian legal framework in direct contravention of the Minsk agreements of September 2014 and February 2015.