July 7, the US Secretary of State John Kerry has visited Ukraine. He discussed preparations for the NATO summit, different aspects of cooperation, Ukraine’s prospects in NATO, and the Minsk agreements.
Ukraine and NATO
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko reminded of the expansion of the Alliance declared at the Budapest summit of 2008. He has expressed his hope that the door to NATO is still opened for Ukraine. Kerry commented diplomatically and carefully:
"The United States is a supporter of the open door policy in welcoming new NATO members when they are prepared. Mr. Poroshenko, your country has not yet reached a final decision on applying for NATO membership, but I want to assure you that the latest efforts to reform the defense sector relating to civilian control of the Armed Forces are highly appreciated as a sign of a democratic process and an important element for accomplishing interoperability with NATO member countries as a part of the Ukrainian intentions to expand cooperation with NATO within the framework of partnership that exists today".
The United States has once again pointed out that if Russia does not fulfill its obligations on the de-escalation of Donbas conflict, the sanctions will not be lifted. Poroshenko has supposed that the negotiators in Warsaw would find some tools for influencing the aggressor.
"Ukraine expects that the NATO summit, NATO-Ukraine Commission, and the Big Five, plus Ukraine would co-ordinate measures to ensure Russia’s implementation of the Minsk agreements and start of Crimean de-occupation. In fact, we continue to insist on the establishment of an international mechanism of de-occupation of the peninsula," Poroshenko said.
"If Russia does not fulfill all its obligations under the de-escalation, the sanctions will be prolonged. The same situation is with Crimea," said John Kerry.
Assistance to Ukraine
"US assistance in reforming the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in the supply of equipment and technologies, joint exercises and training are very important steps in building effective cooperation and coordination in the field of defense," noted Ukraine’s leader.
In response, Kerry promised to provide humanitarian assistance: "I have told President Poroshenko that the United States will provide additional $23 million in humanitarian aid to help the thousands of people who have become the victims of the current conflict in eastern Ukraine,"
US Secretary of State praised Ukraine for conducting reforms, emphasizing on the economic growth and progress.
"Taking into consideration the current situation and the specific challenges in terms of security, it is impressive. Ukraine is undeniably progressing. President Poroshenko has made some difficult decisions; it enabled Ukraine’s development and economic growth, in contrast to the other economies in the region," Kerry added.
Ukraine is the only country, to which a separate event would be devoted in terms of Warsaw NATO summit. The forum will bring together more than 2100 delegates and 2000 journalists from around the world.