Obama calls for respecting Ukraine truce

imgUS President Barack Obama called Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, hours before a ceasefire agreement was to come into effect in troubled eastern Ukraine, affirming necessity to respect the truce.
In his conversation with Poroshenko, Obama expressed “his sympathy for the mounting toll of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and his deep concern about the ongoing violence, particularly in and around Debaltseve,” the White House said.
Obama echoed those sentiments to Merkel in a separate discussion, and the three leaders “emphasized the pressing need for all signatories to implement the ceasefire and protocol agreements reached at Minsk last September and reaffirmed by the Minsk Implementation Plan this week,” the White House said. Obama and Poroshenko “agreed to remain in close contact in the days ahead,” and they further “stressed the importance of establishing a lasting peace that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and unity,” according to the readout of the call.
Obama also congratulated Poroshenko on Ukraine’s deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for “an ambitious package of reforms that will help to stabilize Ukraine’s economy and lay the groundwork for growth and prosperity,” the readout noted. To Merkel, Obama expressed his gratitude “for her tireless efforts to bring the conflict in eastern Ukraine to an end in manner that preserves Ukraine’s sovereignty and unity,” the White House said.

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