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Ukrainian President To Press EU Leaders On Russia Sanctions

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (center) holds a meeting with Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak (Lleft and Chief of Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko in Kyiv on November 2.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is to meet with top European Union leaders to press them to keep up sanctions against Russia.

Poroshenko's November 24 meeting with Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker comes amid worries in Kyiv that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will weaken Western resolve against Russia upon taking office in January.

The EU is set at its next summit next month to discuss a six-month renewal of sanctions that were imposed after a Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down over Ukraine in July 2014.

But Trump has signaled a more conciliatory approach to the Kremlin, and even suggested he might accept Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

Internal political reforms demanded by Brussels in exchange for visa-free travel will also be on the agenda.

"I think the focus must be on the situation in [eastern Ukraine], on Russian aggression, on the extension of sanctions," Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told Ukrainian television.

Fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russia-backed insurgents has claimed more than 9,600 lives and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

Based on reporting by AFP and UNIAN