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Biden Commends Poroshenko For Anticorruption Efforts

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (right) with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Kyiv late last year.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has called Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and commended him for passing anticorruption legislation sought by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the White House said.

"The Vice President urged President Poroshenko to continue on this positive trajectory, to include successful implementation of the new legislation, and continued visible progress on anti-corruption reforms" backed by the United States and European Union, it said on February 18.

The IMF had threatened to halt delivery of Ukraine's $40 billion bailout package from the IMF and EU unless it cracked down on corruption.

Biden also applauded Poroshenko's efforts to replace Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin, "which paves the way for needed reform of the prosecutorial service," the White House said.

Shokin was called out by name earlier this month by Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius, who announced his resignation and cited a "sharp escalation in efforts to block systemic and important reforms."

U.S. officials have long made clear their position that Shokin should resign to restore public confidence in Ukraine's justice system.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters