U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that the election of Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine demonstrates that the country rejects violence and corruption and wants the opportunity to make their own decisions about their future.
"Obviously, Ukraine has gone through a very challenging time," Obama said. "And what we have seen has been an incredible outpouring of democracy in the face of actions by Russia as well as armed militias in certain portions of the east that violate international law, violate sovereignty and have spurred great violence."
The international community must support Poroshenko's efforts to bring peace and order to the eastern part of the country, root out corruption and create new models of economic growth, Obama said.
"The United States is absolutely committed to standing behind the Ukrainian people and their aspirations not just in the coming days and weeks but in the coming years, because we're confident that Ukraine can, in fact, be a thriving, vital democracy that has strong relationships with Europe and has strong relationships with Russia," Obama said. "But that can only happen if we stand clearly behind them during this difficult time."
Poroshenko expressed gratitude for the support Ukraine has received from the international community.
"I want to thank President Obama, the United States people, the United States government and Congress for the continuous support demonstrating for the fight, the Ukrainian people, for freedom, for democracy, for building up independent sovereign European state," Poroshenko said. "This is crucially important for us, and now we feel a friend in need is a friend indeed. The American position of the American people is very, very important for us."
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