WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kiev on Friday, just weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump was impeached over abuse of power involving his handling of Ukraine.
The visit is part of a trip that includes several former Soviet republics, the U.S. State Department said.
As well as holding talks with Zelinskiy, Pompeo will also meet Ukraine’s foreign and defense ministers to reaffirm U.S. support for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the State Department said.
Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and since then Russian-backed rebels have been waging an insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
It was not clear if Trump’s impeachment would figure as a talking point.
The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives impeached him on Dec. 18 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges stemming from his effort to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden, a leading contender in the 2020 Democratic presidential race.
The House inquiry into the matter concluded that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine in order to influence Kiev, sending the matter to the U.S. Senate for trial. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
In Kiev, Pompeo will also discuss human rights, investment climate, and the government’s reform agenda, the State Department said.
He will also visit Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus on a trip from Friday through to next Tuesday.
Reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans and Angus MacSwan