Trump met Ukraine’s president to express support for peaceful resolution

Vastavam web: President Donald Trump met with Ukraine’s president on Tuesday and expressed support for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine but said nothing about Russia’s role, while the U.S. government added to sanctions over Moscow’s actions.Trump sat down in the Oval Office with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for talks on the same day the U.S. Treasury Department added two Russian officials and 36 other individuals and entities to its list of those facing sanctions over Moscow’s activities in Ukraine.

The sanctions target Ukrainian and Russian officials and companies that U.S. authorities accuse of helping Russia tighten its grip on the Crimean peninsula, a part of Ukraine annexed by Russia in 2014 in a move Western leaders denounced as illegal. Poroshenko called Trump, whose first five months in office have been dogged by a controversy over whether his presidential campaign team last year colluded with Russia, “one of the most reliable supporters” and “strategic partners” for Ukraine.A separate White House statement issued after Pence met with Poroshenko said the vice president highlighted continuing U.S. support for implementing the Minsk agreement, the 2015 accord aimed at ending Russian support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States could back away from that agreement to avoid being “handcuffed” by the policy. Trump did not mention the accord.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement “there should be no sanctions relief until Russia meets its obligations under the Minsk agreements.”