US Secretary to meet with Ukraine President in Davos


DAVOS: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and other leaders on January 26 in Davos, Switzerland.

World leaders, including President Donald Trump, are in Davos for the high-profile World Economic Forum.

Trump will deliver the keynote address before the assembled leaders on the afternoon of January 26. Trump is expected to promote the United States’ economic strength and its desirability as a place to do business.

Tillerson will also meet with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Swiss President Alain Berset. He is due to travel to Warsaw later in the day and meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the evening.

The United States has been a stalwart supporter of Ukraine since 2013 when a series of street protests over closer integration with Europe evolved into a major confrontation with President Viktor Yanukovych, culminating in his ouster in February 2014 and leading to a pro-Western government under Poroshenko.

The United States and the European Union have imposed an array of sanctions on Russia over its March 2014 seizure of Ukraine’s the Crimean Peninsula and its role in the war in eastern Ukraine.

In the coming days, the US Treasury Department is due to release a report that is expected to name hundreds of Kremlin-connected insiders and business leaders who could later be hit with a fresh wave of US sanctions.

The State Department late last year announced approval of “enhanced defensive capabilities” for Ukraine to defend itself against Russia-backed separatists.

But Washington has also pushed Poroshenko to institute major governmental reforms and clean up the country’s endemic corruption.