20 May 2019 22:15

Zelensky calls for tightening anti-Russian sanctions at meeting with U.S. delegation

KYIV. May 20 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has received representatives of the Administration and Congress of the United States who came to Kyiv to attend an official presidential inauguration ceremony.

Zelensky thanked the U.S. for its leading role in regaining Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the assistance in promoting domestic reforms, according to the official presidential website. "The U.S. is a strong and very serious partner for Ukraine, primarily in suppressing Russia's aggression. We ourselves will not be able to curb Russia's aggression in Donbas and Crimea. This is why we need your aid," he said.

"I would like to urge you that the U.S. will further toughen sanctions against Russia," the head of state added.

Zelensky also thanked the U.S. for its assistance in the area of security.

The president said that he wants to pursue transparent, open and democratic reforms in Ukraine. "We have a very good example, this is your country. In general, Ukraine's reforms in all areas will be pursued in parallel, rather than after the cessation of fire in Donbas. Because we need that. We want to become a European country in terms of values and transparency," he said.

Zelensky thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for his congratulations and said he hopes to have a meeting with the latter soon.

The head of state also stressed the importance of the further comprehensive boosting of Ukrainian-U.S. strategic partnership, primarily by implementing mutually advantageous cooperation programs in the energy sector and enhancing security interaction.

Members of official American delegation led by U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson attended the meeting.

Zelensky and Hungarian President Janos Ader later have discussed bilateral cooperation in carrying on international pressure on Russia at a meeting in Kyiv.

"The head of state said that the Russia's aggression in the east and Russia's occupation of Crimea need the international pressure on Russia to be continued," the Ukrainian presidential press service said in a statement.

Zelensky added that he hopes for Budapest to resume supporting the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine.