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EU-Ukraine Summit Opens In Kyiv

European Council President Donald Tusk (left), Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (center) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Kyiv on April 27.

EU leaders and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have opened a summit in Kyiv.

The EU-Ukraine summit is the first since their Association Agreement was signed last year after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, which was followed by Moscow's takeover of Crimea and the seizure by Russian-backed separatists of territory in eastern Ukraine.

Poroshenko said ahead of the summit that he hopes EU officials will send "strong signals in support of Ukraine and its European integration."

EU President Donald Tusk told Poroshenko that along with having a "powerful enemy," Ukraine also has "a lot of friends."

Tusk said Ukraine can "count on their help but it will not be enough unless you yourself change Ukraine."

Talks are expected to include the status of the Minsk agreement, a deal signed in February for a cease-fire and steps to end the conflict that has killed more than 6,100 people in eastern Ukraine.

Leaders are also expected to address the status of economic and political reforms in Ukraine, financial assistance to Kyiv, and Poroshenko's request for European peacekeepers to help monitor the cease-fire.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters