Ukraine president to push EU leaders on Russia

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BRUSSELS: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will press European Union leaders on Thursday to hold firm against Russia amid fears that US President-elect Donald Trump may ditch the Western coalition against Moscow. Poroshenko’s summit with Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Union’s top officials, will focus on political reforms demanded by Brussels in exchange for visa-free travel for Ukraine. But he is also expected to push them to maintain sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine at a time when Trump’s election has thrown US support into doubt. Trump’s election victory has been met with trepidation in Kiev because of the billionaire TV star’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two men’s vow to normalize ties after years of tension. “I think the focus must be on the situation in Donbass [rebel-held eastern Ukraine], on Russian aggression, on the extension of sanctions,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told local television ahead of the summit.

AFP

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