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    Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, left, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko meet in Kiev

    Biden, Ukraine Leaders Agree Anti-Russian Sanctions Should Remain in Place

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    US Vice President Joe Biden held a three-way telephone conversation with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, in which the leaders endorsed continued economic sanctions against Russia.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Vice President Joe Biden held a three-way telephone conversation with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, in which the leaders endorsed continued economic sanctions against Russia, the White House said in a press release.

    "The leaders agreed that sanctions on Russia should remain in place until Russia has fully implemented its Minsk commitments," the release stated on Thursday.

    The EU voted earlier on Thursday to extend sanctions against Russia for six months.

    Biden also backed Ukraine efforts to complete an association agreement with the EU, the release added. The US vice president hopes its ratified in coming months so Ukrainians can benefit from visa-free travel to the EU.

    At same time, the EU placed limits on the bloc’s proposed association with Ukraine, adopting legally binding text saying that the agreement would not make Ukraine a candidate for eventual EU membership, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on its website.

    The EU also said it would not offer Ukrainians the right to reside and work in the EU, nor would it offer Ukraine military assistance, the BBC reported.

    The 2015 Minsk accords call for a ceasefire between Russian-speaking militias in Eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian troops, which launched a military operation in the region in 2014 to suppress a movement seeking autonomy from the central government in Kiev.

    The United States and EU imposed sanctions on Russia following a 2014 referendum, in which Crimea’s Russian-speaking majority overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

    Related:

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    European Union, sanctions, Petro Poroshenko, Joe Biden, Ukraine, United States
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