Ukraine leader Poroshenko will meet Trump on Tuesday

"It is very important that my meeting, as the Ukrainian president, in the White House will be earlier than (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's meeting", it quoted Poroshenko, who is already in the United States, as saying.

Ukraine relied heavily on Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, for support as Russian Federation annexed Crimea and stoked the three-year conflict on the two nations' border.

Within the framework of the official visit to the U.S., President Petro Poroshenko is holding a meeting with Secretary of Energy of the United States Rick Perry.

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During a brief joint appearance, both Poroshenko and Trump described meeting each other as a "great honor", and Trump said Ukraine is "a place that we have all been very much involved in".

In a statement issued after the meeting, the White House said the discussion centered on "support for the peaceful resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and President Poroshenko's reform agenda and anticorruption efforts".

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech during a meeting with members of his party.

"We received strong support from the USA side, support in terms of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the independence of our state", Poroshenko said. And a meeting with State Secretary Tillerson is also planned today.

Trump has found himself on the defensive politically over investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible ties between his campaign and Russian officials.

Poroshenko, speaking softly, said he hopes the two countries can engage in "effective collaboration".

On Monday, Russia threatened to shoot down U.S. warplanes over Syria after a U.S. Navy fighter shot down a Syrian warplane. The expansion of sanctions, along with the U.S. Senate's near-unanimous vote to toughen sanctions on Russian Federation, signals a tougher approach on the Kremlin than many people expected from Trump.

White House statements on Poroshenko's meeting with both Trump and Pence made no mention of Russian Federation.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions against 38 individuals are created to "maintain pressure on Russian Federation to work toward a diplomatic solution".

  • Joanne Flowers