Pompeo is also scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko and Defense Minister Andriy Zahorodnyuk as Washington looks to show its backing for Kyiv, which is battling Russia-backed forces in a deadly war in eastern Ukraine.
The top U.S. diplomat’s visit to Kyiv comes amid the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, who has been accused by Democrats of abusing his power of office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival by withholding congressionally approved military aid and a highly desired invitation to the White House for Zelenskiy.
It also comes days after Pompeo reportedly asked an NPR journalist in anger, “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?”
Ukraine relies heavily on U.S. military and political support, along with aid provided by European countries.
Pompeo is also scheduled to attend a ceremony in the capital honoring those who have died in the long conflict in eastern Ukraine against the separatists.
More than 13,000 people have died in the conflict since 2014. Russia also seized and annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in a move not recognized by the international community.
“As the United States made clear with our 2018 Crimea Declaration, Crimea is part of Ukraine and we will never recognize Russia’s attempt to annex it,” the State Department said.
The statement noted that “in 2018, the Trump administration relaunched the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission to deepen our bilateral cooperation and advance our shared interests in countering Russian aggression, as well as promoting rule of law, economic development, and energy security in Ukraine.”
It said two-way trade between the United States and Ukraine reached nearly $4 billion in 2018, with particularly high volumes in mineral fuels, vehicles, iron and steel, and agricultural products.
“The United States supports Ukraine’s energy independence from Russian domination,” it added.
It also said Washington backs Ukraine “as it counters Russian aggression and disinformation, and advances reform efforts to stamp out corruption.”
Pompeo, who began his trip in London, will also travel to Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.