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Biden Urges Ukrainian Leaders to Root Out Corruption

"This needs to be a government that exists to serve the people, not enrich the powerful,” he said.
US Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Toward a Europe Whole and Free conference at the Atlantic Council on April 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama will visit Poland in June as part of a European tour, Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday. The visit comes as Washington tries to allay the concerns of its allies over the escalating crisis in Ukraine. Obama will also visit France, Belgium and Britain during the trip.AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty ImagesAFP - Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged the government of Ukraine to weed out corruption, saying that mistrust and abuse of power are “corrosive” to its progress.

“This needs to be a government that exists to serve the people, not enrich the powerful,” he said during remarks at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC.

Noting his meetings with top Ukrainian officials during a trip the country last week, Biden said “there is a common view, east and west, that the government has to begin to deliver, that corruption is incredibly corrosive.”

The vice president also announced that President Barack Obama will stop in nearby Poland during a European trip scheduled for June, and he reiterated that the U.S. and its allies must be “resolute" in imposing costs on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine.

Saying that NATO has “never been more relevant,” Biden noted that the challenges faced by Europe are daunting but that they can be overcome “if we remained joined at the hip, if we remain united and steadfast.”