April 21 - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Kiev where he will announce a package of technical assistance focused on energy and economic aid distribution during a two day visit to Ukraine. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine on Monday (April 21) for a two-day visit to Kiev where he will meet with government leaders. Biden is expected to announce a package of technical assistance focused on energy and economic aid distribution, a senior administration official said. Briefing reporters on board Biden's plane, the official said the assistance was made up primarily of technical know-how to help boost energy efficiency as well as production in Ukrainian natural gas fields and extraction of "unconventional" gas resources. The economic assistance involved U.S. teams to help Ukraine ensure international aid was allocated effectively in all parts of the country, the official said. Biden's visit comes as an agreement reached last week to avert wider conflict in Ukraine began to falter. Pro-Moscow separatist gunmen have maintained their grip on seized government buildings across swathes of eastern Ukraine as Washington threatens to impose new economic sanctions on Moscow, which it says it will hold responsible. Biden will also discuss a recent U.S. tranche of non-lethal security aid for Ukraine and options for following up on that. Biden's trip to Kiev, the highest level visit from a U.S. official since the start of the crisis here, was born out of discussions with President Barack Obama, the official said.