is very important that my meeting, as the Ukrainian president,
in the White House will be earlier than (Russian President
Vladimir) Putin's meeting," it quoted Poroshenko, who is already
in the United States, as saying.
It will be their first meeting since Trump took office on Jan.
Poroshenko said that he also would meet top officials from the
State Department, ministries of defence, trade and energy.
"There never was such a powerful visit. And precisely in order
to have the opportunity to talk about our cooperation in the
security, political and economic spheres", he added.
Poroshenko praised the U.S. Senate for the decision to introduce
new sanctions against Russia, saying that sanctions were a
civilized mechanism "to force the aggressor to get away from
Ukraine", withdraw troops and equipment.
Last week, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly for new
sanctions punishing Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S.
election and to force Trump to get Congress' approval before
easing any existing sanctions.
The move was intended to punish Russia over issues including
alleged meddling in the election, which Moscow denies,
annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for the
government of Syria in that country's six-year-long civil war.
The Minsk peace agreement, brokered by France and Germany and
signed by Russia and Ukraine in February 2015, calls for a
ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line
and constitutional reform to give eastern Ukraine more autonomy.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Stephen Coates and Nick
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