US Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had a phone call to discuss joint actions to exert pressure on Russia to ensure the implementation of the Minsk deal, Poroshenko’s press service said Saturday.
“President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a phone conversation with U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden…. The parties coordinated actions to further exert pressure on Russia for it to implement the Minsk agreements and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” the statement reads.
Southeastern Ukraine has been suffering from a crisis triggered by a military operation launched by Kiev authorities against local militias in April 2014. The latter have refused to recognize the pro-Western government in Kiev that came to power in 2014 in what they consider to have been a coup.
The Minsk accords to deescalate the situation in the region, worked out by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, were signed by representatives of the government in Kiev and the Donbas militias in February 2015.
Key points of the Minsk deal include a ceasefire, weapons withdrawals from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, constitutional reforms, including the decentralization of power in the country, and the granting of a special status to the Donbas region.
Last week, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the Donbas side had implemented most of the Minsk deal’s provisions, and it was Kiev’s turn to take the stipulated political and legal steps.