World

Prominent Ukrainians urge US, EU to speak with one voice against Russia

  • Vitali Klitschko, former heavyweight boxing champion and Ukrainian leader of UDAR party, left, and former Ukrainian foreign minister Petro Porochenko talk to reporters after a meeting with French president Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 7, 2014. The Ukrainian politicians discussed the current situation in Ukraine with the French President. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Vitali Klitschko, former heavyweight boxing champion and Ukrainian leader of UDAR party, left, and former Ukrainian foreign minister Petro Porochenko talk to reporters after a meeting with French president Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 7, 2014. The Ukrainian politicians discussed the current situation in Ukraine with the French President. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this picture provided by the German government German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, meets with Ukrainian politicians Yulia Tymoshenko. second right, and Vitali Klitschko, right, on the occasion of a meeting of the European peoples parties in Dublin, Ireland, Friday, March 7, 2014. Second left is an unidentified interpreter. (AP Photo/German Government/Guido Bergmann)

    In this picture provided by the German government German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, meets with Ukrainian politicians Yulia Tymoshenko. second right, and Vitali Klitschko, right, on the occasion of a meeting of the European peoples parties in Dublin, Ireland, Friday, March 7, 2014. Second left is an unidentified interpreter. (AP Photo/German Government/Guido Bergmann)  (The Associated Press)

  • French President Francois Hollande, left,  greets Vitali Klitschko former heavyweight boxing champion and Ukrainian leader of UDAR party, right, former Ukrainian foreign minister  Petro Porochenko, center, and French philosopher and writer Bernard Henri Levy as they arrive for a meeting at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 7, 2014. The Ukrainian politicians will discuss the current situation in Ukraine with the French President. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    French President Francois Hollande, left, greets Vitali Klitschko former heavyweight boxing champion and Ukrainian leader of UDAR party, right, former Ukrainian foreign minister Petro Porochenko, center, and French philosopher and writer Bernard Henri Levy as they arrive for a meeting at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 7, 2014. The Ukrainian politicians will discuss the current situation in Ukraine with the French President. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

Two potential Ukrainian presidential contenders are urging the U.S. and European Union to stick to a single, tough stance against Russia.

While Washington is imposing sanctions and strongly criticizing Moscow, the EU has taken softer measures. Some European countries are wary of antagonizing Russia, a major energy supplier and trade partner, and anything that might lead to war.

Ukrainian magnate Petro Poroshenko told reporters in Paris on Friday that Ukraine wants the EU and U.S. "to speak in one voice and be on the same wavelength."

Former boxer Vitali Klitschko, a leader of the protest movement that sent Ukraine's president fleeing last month, said "we need a joint position by all EU countries and the United States."

Both men sought support for Ukraine at meetings with European leaders Friday.