Biden, Poroshenko discuss military aid and ceasefire

imgU.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko by phone Saturday to discuss U.S. military aid to Ukrainian fighters and to call on Russian-backed fighters to adhere to a ceasefire agreement, according to U.S. and Ukrainian government statements. Both leaders urged Russia and separatists in eastern Ukraine to abide by the terms of the Minsk agreements adopted in September and February, the White House said in a statement. The agreement, brokered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, calls for withdrawal of heavy artillery from war zones, a prisoner exchange and full access to the conflict site by monitors of the Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe.
The Obama administration Wednesday announced a fresh round of sanctions on pro-Russian rebels, and said it was sending an additional $75 million to Ukraine in non-lethal military aid.
Neither statement mentioned whether Biden and Poroshenko discussed U.S. weapons for Ukrainian forces, a topic that has been the subject of international debate in recent months. President Obama reportedly agreed to hold off on sending lethal arms to Ukraine for the moment to allow a diplomatic solution to take hold, Peter Wittig, the German ambassador to the U.S., told the Associated Press.

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