President Donald Trump, joined by Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, all welcomed President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine today and discussed issues ranging from bilateral trade between the US and Ukraine to border protection against Russian aggression in Crimea.
This is a highly symbolic meeting and shows to the world how well the two presidents are getting along. It also sends a clear message to the Russian Kremlin who the US is siding with when it comes to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Mr Poroshenko had earlier visited President Trump in the White House in June of this year.
The Ukrainian President was keen to stress that investment of US companies in his country had more than doubled over the past year and he took his time to thank the White House administration for this wonderful feat.
The US is, besides the EU, the most important ally on the side of Ukraine as it is faced with Russian aggression which led to the occupation of the area of Crimea which Russia annexed in March of 2014. For this reason, both the US and the EU have imposed tough economic sanctions on Russia and ordered travel limitations on many of its officials.
President Petro Poroshenko is a businessman just like Donald Trump which would explain why the two men get along so well. Mr Poroshenko was nicknamed the ‘Chocolate King’ as he made his fortune selling sweets all over eastern Europe. With the money he made from these trades he invested in manufacturing, agriculture and the finance industry. By the time he became Ukraine’s President, he was considered one of the wealthiest men in Eastern Europe with a personal fortune over 1 billion dollars.
Ukraine is one of the larges countries in Eastern Europe and houses 43 million citizens.
Ford, Nokia, Reuters and many smaller sized tech companies all have offices in Ukraine. Most notably, the US IT-sector has discovered Ukraine (and the rest of Eastern Europe) in these past few years. There are more than 6,000 IT outsourcing companies in Ukraine, and the sector keeps growing at 25 percent year over year.