National Press Club

Ukrainian Prime Minister secures pledge of economic assistance during U.S. visit

June 26, 2016 | By Peter Hickman | phickman@hotmail.com

Newly elected Ukrainian PM Volodymyr Groysman discussed U.S.-Ukraine relationship at a June 16 press conference at the National Press Club.

Newly elected Ukrainian PM Volodymyr Groysman discussed U.S.-Ukraine relationship at a June 16 press conference at the National Press Club.

Photo/Image: Ferdous Al-Faruque

On his first visit to Washington since taking office, the new Prime Minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman, told a June 16 National Press Club Newsmaker press conference that his country received a pledge of $220 million in economic assistance from the United States during meetings with U.S. officials.

The assistance package was offered by Vice President Joe Biden, Groysman said. His talks with American officials centered on the political situation in his nation, including relations with Russia, which occupies the Crimean Peninsula, part of eastern Ukraine.

Groysman, who is 38 and the youngest individual ever to serve as his nation’s prime minister, took office April 14.

In the Club event, he discussed Ukraine's relations with the International Monetary Fund, NATO and representatives of other international institutions, as well as his nation's plan for improving Ukraine's’s economic condition.

Groysman said that economic reform must be tied to ending corruption. One of the reforms that he discussed is a new Anti-Corruption Bureau. He also called for continued economic sanctions against Russia until Crimea is returned to Ukrainian control.

The one question where the stone-faced Ukrainian leader took a pass, but gave a smile, was when he was asked by Club President and Newsmaker moderator Thomas Burr what he thought of Donald Trump’s call for restructuring NATO.