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U.S. Vice President Biden to meet Ukraine president, prime minister in Kiev

Source: Reuters - Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:05 GMT
Author: Reuters
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WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will meet with Ukraine's acting president, Oleksander Turchinov, and Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk during a visit to Kiev on Tuesday, the White House said on Sunday.

Biden arrives in Kiev on Monday afternoon local time. He will meet with members of Ukraine's Rada parliament from different political parties and regions as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations during his two-day stay, the White House said in a statement.

In those meetings, Biden will "discuss the international community's efforts to help stabilize and strengthen Ukraine's economy and to assist Ukraine in moving forward on constitutional reform, decentralization, anti-corruption efforts, and free and fair presidential elections on May 25th," the statement said.

"The vice president will also consult on the latest developments in eastern Ukraine and on steps to enhance Ukraine's short- and long-term energy security."

Early on Sunday, at least three people were killed in a gunfight near an eastern Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russian separatists, shaking an already fragile international accord that was designed to avert a wider conflict.

The incident triggered a war of words between Moscow and Ukraine's Western-backed government, with each questioning the other's compliance with the agreement, brokered last week in Geneva, to end a crisis that has strained Russia's ties with the West.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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