In Kyiv, Pompeo emphasizes support for Ukraine

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDonations flow to NPR after Pompeo clash with reporter America needs reliable allies like Georgia Pelosi unready to support UK trade deal as Brexit progresses MORE on Friday reaffirmed the U.S.’s support for Ukraine as the country’s top diplomat visited Kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Reuters reports.

“Today I’m here with a clear message,” Pompeo said Friday in a press conference with Zelensky. “The United States sees that the Ukrainian struggle for freedom, democracy and prosperity is a valiant one. Our commitment to support it will not waver.”

Pompeo is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the country since President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Trump tries to steal Democrats’ thunder in Iowa Democrats make closing arguments to Iowa voters Alexander to vote no on witnesses, bringing trial close to end MORE‘s Senate impeachment trial began.

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Ukraine sits at the center of the trial, with Democratic House managers arguing that Trump misused the power of his office by freezing congressionally approved aid to the country in an attempt to leverage a personal political favor from Zelensky.

Specifically, Democrats say that Trump held the aid so that Zelensky would publicly announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Memo: Trump tries to steal Democrats’ thunder in Iowa Democrats make closing arguments to Iowa voters Alexander to vote no on witnesses, bringing trial close to end MORE and his son, Hunter Biden.

Zelensky echoed Pompeo at the press conference, downplaying the effect that impeachment has had on the relations between the two countries.

“It seems to me, honestly, that, on the contrary, there are very good relations between our countries, not just in words. The U.S. supports and defends Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

Pompeo also responded to a question by saying that there are no conditions for Zelensky to get a White House invitation.

“No, there’s no condition of the nature you described for President Zelenskiy to come to Washington and have that visit,” Pompeo said answering a reporter. “We’ll find the right time. We’ll find the appropriate opportunity.”

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