Trump Meets Ukraine’s president, Expands Russia’s Sanctions|FortNews

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine in the Oval Office of the White House on June 20, 2017, in Washington.

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on more Russian companies and individuals as well as separatists in rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine as President Donald Trump held White House talks with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko.

The measures “are consistent with the U.S. commitment to seek a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine,” the Treasury said in a statement Tuesday. Sanctions over the fighting in eastern Ukraine “will remain in place until Russia fully honors its obligations under the Minsk Agreements,” while measures “related to Crimea will not be lifted until Russia ends its occupation of the peninsula.”

The ruble extended declines against the dollar, weakening to the lowest level since Feb. 2. It was down 1.9 percent at 59.6263 at 7:36 p.m in Moscow. The May 2026 Eurobond dropped, with the yield rising nine basis points to 4.16 percent, the highest since March 31. Five-year credit default swaps advanced nine basis points to 174, the highest since March.

Ukraine relied heavily on the support of Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, as Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and stoked the three-year conflict on the two nations’ border that has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced 2 million. The U.S. was instrumental in imposing the Western sanctions on Russia and also provided billions of dollars in aid along with some non-lethal military equipment. The European Union extended its Russia sanctions over the annexation of Crimea for a further year on Monday.

While Trump suggested during his election campaign that he may recognize Crimea and relax the sanctions, probes into his team’s relationship with Russia have delayed any detente.

‘Party of War’

Ukraine is a “place that we’ve all been very much involved in,” Trump said at the meeting with Poroshenko. “We’ve had some very, very good discussions. It’s going to continue throughout the day and I think a lot of progress has been made.”

By expanding sanctions, the U.S. is “deliberately pouring water on the mill of the party of war in Kiev — those who don’t want a settlement and are interested in the breakdown of the Minsk agreements,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, according to the RIA Novosti news service. Russia will take retaliatory steps, while the U.S. action is another “missed opportunity to move toward improving our bilateral relations,” he said.

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