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Poroshenko, Biden discuss Crimea, Minsk, IMF loan

Diplomatic efforts are important for Crimea settlement, they agree.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had a phone conversation with US Vice President Joe Biden on Friday evening to discuss ways to end Crimea occupation and the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements on Donbas, according to the presidential administration.

"The sides stressed the need for political and diplomatic efforts to end the occupation of Crimea," the administration said. The US vice president also reiterated that the United States does not recognise the occupation of Crimea.

"Petro Poroshenko and Joe Biden stressed the importance of further efforts, including within the Normandy format, to make Russia implement the Minsk agreements, including security commitments," it said. The Ukrainian president briefed the US vice president on the tense situation at Ukraine's administrative border with the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and in Donbas, which sees ongoing attacks by militants who use, among other things, banned large-calibre weapons. Further, he informed the US side about large-scale military drills near the Russian-Ukrainian border.

Poroshenko and Biden also touched on economic issues, in particular, the importance of disbursing a new tranche from the International Monetary Fund and providing US loan guarantees to Ukraine.

The previous phone call, which covered the Crimean and Donbas issues, took place last Friday, 12 August.