Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (March 5)

Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the situation in eastern Ukraine and the passage of crucial economic and governance reform legislation. The Vice President expressed condolences for the loss of life in the mine accident in Donetsk Oblast and for the casualties sustained due to artillery fire along the line of contact, and regretted the refusal of Russia-backed separatists to allow Ukrainian rescue teams access to the site of the mine accident. The Vice President congratulated Prime Minister Yatsenyuk on the passage of crucial reform legislation in the Rada that will help Ukraine return to economic health and pave the way for additional front-loaded financial support from the international community. Finally, the Vice President and Prime Minister expressed their concern regarding the refusal of Russia-backed separatists to allow for unimpeded access for OSCE monitors to the territory they control, as called for in the Minsk Implementation Plan. The two leaders also expressed their concern about continued separatist attacks against Ukrainian forces and civilian areas.