Washington: Vice President Joe Biden headed for Kiev late Friday to attend the inauguration of president-elect Petro Poroshenko as the Obama administration pressed Russia to recognize Ukraine`s new leader.
Biden is leading the US delegation to Kiev for Saturday`s ceremonies and will also meet with Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to discuss "the Ukrainian government`s agenda for democratic reform, economic development and de-escalation of the crisis in the eastern part of the country," the White House said.
He is also due to meet with Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti on the sidelines of the event to discuss regional developments.
Biden, who is due to land at 9:00 am (0600 GMT) Saturday at Boryspil International Airport, will be joined by delegation members Senators John McCain, Ron Johnson and Chris Murphy, Representative Marcy Kaptur, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Ambassadors Dan Baer and Geoff Pyatt.
Baer is the US envoy to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, while Pyatt serves as US ambassador to Ukraine.
On Saturday afternoon after the inauguration, Biden will travel to the Sophia of Kiev national sanctuary to attend a reception in honor of Poroshenko, according to a schedule of his activities released by the White House.
He will then meet with Timofti at the Hyatt Regency Hotel before holding talks with Yatsenyuk at the Cabinet of Ministers Club and a bilateral meeting with Poroshenko at the Presidential Administrative Building.
Following the talks, Biden will return to the United States, spending the rest of the weekend at his home in Wilmington, Delaware.