U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is visiting Kiev today in an effort to both reassure his Ukrainian counterparts and ensure that the Ukrainian government does not instigate a crisis in the region at a time when the U.S. is engaged in negotiations with Russia over Syria.
On the surface, Biden’s visit differs little from his previous trips to Ukraine. He has called for Russia to respect the Minsk agreement, announced $190 million in aid for Ukrainian reforms, and pushed for the country to boost its fight against corruption. However, developments in Syria, as well as Kiev’s decision-making over the past few weeks, has shifted the dynamics of the U.S.-Ukrainian relationship. The U.S. does not wish to see an escalation in Ukraine, and is likely concerned that Kiev could trigger a crisis in the region at a time when Washington is working to create a broad coalition, which includes Russia, to fight the Islamic State in Syria.
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