US voices concern Ukraine security, calls for govt unity

11th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

US Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday expressed concern about signs of renewed conflict in eastern Ukraine, while calling on the country's shaky coalition government to unite and implement reforms.

In a call with Petro Poroshenko, the White House said Biden and the Ukrainian president "expressed serious concern about the worsening security situation in eastern Ukraine," as fighting ticked up after a months-long lull.

More than 9,000 people have been killed and 20,000 injured since conflict broke out in 2014 between the pro-Western government and forces backed by Russia.

The Ukrainian government has struggled in the face of war that has ravaged the economy and deepened long-standing political divisions.

The country's economy minister Aivaras Abromavicius resigned earlier this month in a sign of tensions that have slowed efforts to reform the country's corruption and patronage-ridden economy.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has also threatened to resign and the IMF has warned that crucial financial aid may be at risk "without a substantial new effort to invigorate governance reforms and fight corruption."

Biden "urged the governing coalition to quickly establish unity to allow Ukraine to move forward with reforms, in line with the commitments in its IMF program."

© 2016 AFP

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