U.S. President Barack Obama, right, meets with Ukraine president-elect Petro Poroshenko in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, June 4, 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko met in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday in a further sign of U.S. support of the country's efforts to form a pro-Western government.
Poroshenko called the meeting a "fruitful and effective negotiation."
Obama said this was his first extended meeting with Poroshenko, who won Ukraine's May 25 presidential election with more than 50% of the vote. Billionaire businessman Poroshenko, known as the "Chocolate King," is recognized throughout eastern Europe for his very successful chocolate empire.
The newly elected president faces huge challenges. Poroshenko must rebuild the country's post-revolutionary government while simultaneously calming the escalating unrest between Ukraine's military forces and pro-Russian separatists in the east.
Despite the violence in the east as well as continued pressure from Russia, Obama said Ukraine's presidential election proves that the country is ready to move forward and cut ties with Russia.
"[Ukrainians] reject violence. They reject corruption. And what they’re interested in is the opportunity for Ukrainians to make their own decisions about their own future," Obama said.
Obama said he and Poroshenko have discussed the newly elected president's plans for bringing order the east and rooting out the corruption that has plagued Ukraine's government for years.
"I’m very satisfied about our future cooperation in the anti-corruption deal that I think this is crucially important points for the modernization of the country," Poroshenko said.nam-
Poroshenko and Obama also discussed plans for cutting off Ukraine's dependency on Russia when it comes to energy sources. In order to do this, the U.S. will give $1 billion in additional loan guarantees as well as provide "non-lethal assistance" for Ukraine's poorly equipped military — that includes supplies such as night-vision goggles.
Obama said he feels Poroshenko has the Ukrainian people's best interest at heart and that he will be an effective leader because of his business acumen.
"I think that the Ukrainian people made a wise selection in somebody who has the ability to lead them through this difficult period," Obama said. "And 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."
Some think Poroshenko, who held position in former pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych's regime, won't align the government with the European Union in the end. However in Wednesday's meeting, Poroshenko said he will take steps to ensure the country eventually enters the EU.
"I think that the modernization of the country [...] creating the good investment climate, building on the independent coal system, providing the energy efficiency and energy diversification helps Ukrainian people to receive membership perspective for the European Union in very near future," he said.