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Poroshenko, Pompeo Discuss Boosting Ukrainian-U.S. Defense Cooperation


Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (file photo)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have discussed ways to boost defense and security cooperation between the two countries during a telephone call, the Ukrainian presidential office said on June 2.

Poroshenko again thanked the United States for delivering to Ukraine Javelin antitank missile systems, the statement said.

RFE/RL was first to report the delivery of 37 Javelin launchers, including two spares, and 210 missiles to Kyiv in April.

The U.S. State Department approved the sale of the Javelin systems to Ukraine at an estimated cost of $47 million in March.

According to Poroshenko’s office, the Ukrainian president and Pompeo also discussed the impact of the planned Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline.

Nord Stream 2 is a controversial project that would expand the current Nord Stream pipeline, which passes along the bottom of the Baltic Sea to deliver Russian gas to Germany.

The United States, Poland, the Baltic states, and several other EU countries have expressed concern about Nord Stream 2 -- which avoids existing gas pipelines through Ukraine -- and the added leverage on energy security it could give Moscow.

Poroshenko and Pompeo also discussed recent developments in the probe of MH17 -- the Malaysian airliner that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July 2014, killing all 298 people aboard.

The Dutch-led criminal probe announced on May 24 that it had concluded that the Buk missile that downed the airliner came from a Russian military brigade that was originally based in Kursk, Russia.

Poroshenko stressed the importance of maintaining sanctions on Russia. The United States and the European Union have sanctioned Russia for its March 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, where more than 10,300 people have died in fighting since April 2014.

Poroshenko also informed Pompeo of Ukrainian efforts to push through reforms, "in particular with regard to building efficient anticorruption infrastructure," according to the statement.

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