"The United States is concerned about selective justice in Ukraine but is still hopeful that the Ukrainian government will address this problem without sanctions imposed against individual officials," U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, currently on a visit to Ukraine, said in an interview with Radio Liberty.
She emphasized the importance of direct contacts with the Ukrainian side, saying it was the reason why she was visiting Ukraine to directly talk to Ukrainians about their future. "This is a sovereign country and it needs to make wise decisions. The United States is and will remain its partner and we want Ukraine to make the most of its potential," Sherman said. According to her, resolutions made by the U.S. Congress recommending sanctions are not binding, but if the senators vote for such a resolution, it is a strong signal of concern about selective justice. On Tuesday the Undersecretary had meetings in Kyiv with Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara, and opposition leaders. On Wednesday she met with President Viktor Yanukovych who stated Ukraine's determination to develop strategic relations with the United States and cooperate in all the key directions on the basis of the Distinctive Partnership Charter. "Ukraine values the support and assistance it receives from the United States, particularly in the democratization efforts," Yanukovych said. According to him, Kyiv is looking forward to a meeting between Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara and Secretary of State John Kerry. "Such a contact between the newly appointed top diplomats is very important. In our opinion, it will open a new bilateral agenda, especially in the context of Ukraine's OSCE chairmanship," Yanukovych said. "Ukraine is actively implementing reforms aimed at modernizing the country and its integration into the European Union. It's a difficult path and not an easy time. But we're walking this path confidently and we really appreciate the assistance that we get from international experts, including U.S. experts. We hope that we will cope with our difficult tasks and that the Association Agreement, including the free trade area, with the EU will be signed in Vilnius in November," Yanukovych said. He stated Ukraine's readiness to continue its fruitful cooperation with the United States in nuclear safety and non-proliferation. He said that he and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft would soon attend the opening of a plant for the disposal of empty ICBM engine casings in Pavlohrad. The President also noted successful cooperation with the United States in removing stockpiles of highly enriched uranium from Ukraine.