Biden slams Russia over Ukraine

Biden slams Russia over Ukraine

US vice president Joe Biden has criticised Russia for its role in eastern Ukraine, urging Moscow to uphold a ceasefire in the war-torn region as he visited Kiev on the anniversary of the country’s anti-government protests.

Touring the Ukrainian capital, Mr Biden said Western sanctions against Russia would not be lifted until Moscow does more to enforce the ceasefire.

More than 900 people have been killed and fighting has continued in eastern Ukraine since a truce began in September, and the conflict has claimed at least 4,300 lives since April, according to the UN.

“If Russia were to fulfil these commitments and respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, we could begin a rational discussion about sanctions,” Mr Biden said.

“But that’s not what has happened. Instead we’ve seen more provocative actions, more blatant disregard for the agreement ... And as long as that continues, Russia will face rising cost and greater isolation.”

Mr Biden stopped short of announcing that the United States would provide lethal military aid to Ukraine, an idea floated by an adviser to President Barack Obama. The United States has given Ukraine $53m in non-lethal aid.

The protests that began a year ago in Kiev led to the ouster of Ukraine’s former pro-Russian president in February.

Russia then annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March and began backing a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

The US vice president, touring with his wife, praised the sacrifices of “brave Ukrainians who are even now defending against Russian aggression in the east”.

Some Ukrainians have been more critical of the new Kiev government.

Earlier today, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk were shouted down when they visited the central Kiev square where over a hundred protesters were killed by sniper fire in February.

More in this Section

Widely available drug ‘could reduce deaths from head injury’Widely available drug ‘could reduce deaths from head injury’

Protests erupt as Spain convicts leading Catalan separatistsProtests erupt as Spain convicts leading Catalan separatists

‘Homemade bomb targeted police’ in Hong Kong protests‘Homemade bomb targeted police’ in Hong Kong protests

Officer resigns after fatal shooting of black woman playing video gameOfficer resigns after fatal shooting of black woman playing video game


Fiann Ó Nualláin follows in the footsteps of the Fianna as he explores a province’s hills and vales.Munster marvels: Plants that are unique to a province

Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

More From The Irish Examiner