President Obama welcomes a special guest to the White House on Wednesday: Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine.
"The visit will highlight the strong support of the United States for the people of Ukraine, who have demonstrated inspiring courage and resilience through recent times of crisis," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
The Obama-Yatsenyuk meeting comes less than a week before a referendum in the Crimea region on whether to leave Ukraine and join Russia.
Carney said the leaders "will discuss how to find a peaceful resolution to Russia's ongoing military intervention in Crimea that would respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Economic aid and preparation for May elections in Ukraine are also on the agenda, Carney said.
Obama and Yatsenyuk have called the Crimea secession referendum illegal and inappropriate, given Russia's military incursion into the region.
"This is our land," Yatsenyuk told a crowd in Kiev on Sunday. "Our fathers and grandfathers have spilled their blood for this land. And we won't budge a single centimeter from Ukrainian land. Let Russia and its president know this."
Yatsenyuk's office said Wednesday's talk with Obama is about "resolution of the situation in Ukraine."
"Crimea, a strategic peninsula in southern Ukraine, has become the flashpoint in the battle for Ukraine, where three months of protests sparked by President Victor Yanukovych's decision to ditch a significant treaty with the 28-nation European Union after strong pressure from Russia led to his downfall. A majority of people in Crimea identify with Russia, and Moscow's Black Sea Fleet is based in Sevastopol, as is Ukraine's. ...
"The regional parliament in Crimea has set a March 16 referendum on leaving Ukraine to join Russia. Senior lawmakers in Moscow have said they would support the move, ignoring sanctions threats and warnings from President Barack Obama that the vote would violate international law."