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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence have discussed sanctions against Russia, reforms in Ukraine, bilateral trade and investment.

"In a phone call today with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed the United States' steadfast support for Ukraine's efforts to combat Russian aggression, improve governance, and reform its economy," the White House said in readout of the phone call between the two officials on Tuesday, March 6.

Read alsoNew U.S. sanctions against Russia likely coming 'within a week' – media"The Vice President reiterated that the United States will continue to hold Russia accountable until it fulfills its commitments under the Minsk agreements, returns the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine, and ceases its destabilizing activities," it said.

The leaders agreed on the importance of expanding bilateral trade and investment, and the Vice President underscored the need for continued reforms to fight corruption, increase transparency, and improve the business climate.

Poroshenko's press service, in turn, reported that the two officials had noted the active development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, in particular the launch of a large-scale project with GE Transportation for the purchase of American locomotives, as well as the supply of American coal to Ukraine.

Poroshenko and Pence also discussed the schedule of future bilateral contacts at the highest level to be held this year, which marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Ukrainian-American strategic partnership.

Poroshenko thanked the United States for assistance in implementing the large-scale internal reforms, as well as for U.S. military aid, which contributes to strengthening Ukraine's defense capability.

Poroshenko underscored that arming Ukraine was an important positive signal by the U.S. for other partners of his country and a clear warning for Russia.

What is more, the Ukrainian president underlined the importance of further pressure on Russia for ensuring proper implementation of the security aspects of the Minsk agreements. In this regards, he expressed gratitude for the recent decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to roll over respective sanctions against Russia for a year.

As part of the discussion on further steps for a peaceful settlement of the Donbas crisis, prospects for deploying an effective United Nations peacekeeping mission were also considered.