The first meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. President Donald Trump has sent a positive signal for the development of bilateral ties, but led to no major breakthrough, Ukrainian experts said on Wednesday.
"Poroshenko's meeting with Trump is a strong signal for the beginning of a new stage in relations between Ukraine and the U.S.," said Taras Berezovets, a political analyst at Berta Communications consulting company.
Poroshenko held talks with Trump in the White House during his working visit to Washington on June 19-20.
The meeting, which the White House has described as a brief "drop-in," was held amid speculations that Trump would scrap it. However, the two presidents held talks in the extended format lasting about 30 minutes.
During the meeting, Poroshenko and Trump have discussed Ukraine's reforms, bilateral cooperation in energy and military-technical sphere, as well as the progress in the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement designed to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Many Ukrainian experts have suggested that the fact that the meeting finally took place and the broad agenda of the talks are the signs that the strategic partnership between Kiev and Washington will continue under the Trump administration.
"The main result of the meeting is that the U.S. continues to be Ukraine's military, economic and diplomatic ally," said Oleg Ponomar, an independent political analyst.
Speaking to the press after the meeting with Trump, Poroshenko said that Kiev has received a "strong support" from Washington, while the U.S. president was more reticent in his remarks, noting only that "a lot of progress has been made" during the talks.
Some Ukrainian experts have suggested that Trump took a prudent approach to his comments as the U.S. administration has not developed a clear stance on Ukraine yet.
"The U.S. has no conception of relations with Ukraine since there are no people, who are responsible for the ties with Ukraine, either at the National Security Council or at the Department of State," said Leonid Kozhara, a former Ukrainian foreign minister.
His words were echoed by Ruslan Bortnik, an analyst at the Ukrainian Institute of Political Management, who said that it is too early to talk about the future of Ukraine-U.S. relations, drawing only on the results of the meeting.
"I do not expect any breakthrough solutions or any significant changes based on the results of the talks. After all, this is the first meeting and most likely it is just an introductory meeting," Bortnik said.