Ukraine in the White House Press Brief

Q    And separately, is the White House concerned about the state of events in Ukraine after the Prime Minister stepped down on Sunday — concerned about the pace of reform that otherwise was going on there?

MR. EARNEST:  Well, Jeff, the administration has been concerned about the situation in Ukraine for quite some time now. And obviously, Mr. Yatsenyuk has played an important role throughout this process.  As his country has gone through such significant turmoil, he’s played an important role in trying to help his country weather those challenges, and he obviously has been an important partner with the United States as we have tried to provide support to our friends in Ukraine.

This would explain why the Vice President of the United States telephoned Mr. Yatsenyuk yesterday.  And we obviously are pleased that he has indicated he will remain on to ensure a smooth transition to his successor.

Implementing key economic reforms in Ukraine is going to be critical to that nation’s long-term success, and the economic environment in that country right now is different and has certainly not been aided by the actions of the Russians to destabilize that country and to violate their territorial integrity.

So the people of Ukraine and the nation of Ukraine is enduring quite a lot.  The United States will continue to stand with them and support them as they endure these challenges.  But that also means that the government of Ukraine will need to follow through on the critical economic reforms of which you alluded to, and we’re hopeful that the commitment to implementing those reforms will continue in the mind of Mr. Yatsenyuk’s successor.