Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is expected to arrive at the White House on Wednesday to meet with President Joe Biden.
The meeting is the first of its kind between the two leaders as Ukraine looks for international support in the face of Russia.
The White House billed the visit as a step to “affirm the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea.
It also stressed the two countries’ close cooperation on energy security.
Furthermore, it declared its support to “President Zelensky’s efforts to tackle corruption and implement a reform agenda based on our shared democratic values.”
Zelensky has been appealing to the US for a public show of support through an in-person meeting dating back to when he first took office in 2019.
The White House has earlier raised concerns about Russia’s continued occupation of the Crimean Peninsula. And its aggression in the Donbas as Moscow amasses troops along the border.
Another point of tension is likely to be Biden’s stance on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Zelensky has warned it could give Russia leverage over the energy supply in Europe.
Russia has expressed its total rejection of the multinational naval exercises by the US and Ukraine in the Black Sea .
Russian Foreign Ministry considered the naval exercises as “openly anti-Russian.”
The EU-Russian relations have witnessed a setback over several issues. It was mainly because Kremlin-orchestrated cyber-attacks and election interference.
The frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine and the poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny were along among these issues.
Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the EU has imposed a set of tight sanctions on Russia.