World

Ukraine's president urges Russia to withdraw troops, close border

  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, right, holds a book given to him by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as they meet at the federal government office in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Poroshenko will travel to Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne during his two-day visit. (AP Photo/Julian Smith, Pool)

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, right, holds a book given to him by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as they meet at the federal government office in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Poroshenko will travel to Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne during his two-day visit. (AP Photo/Julian Smith, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, right, and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott shake hands during an ecumenical church service held at Ukrainian Greek Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.  Poroshenko is on a two-day visit to Australia with talks of the downing of MH17 over Ukraine with the loss of 38 Australian citizens and residents expected to high on the agenda. (AP Photo/Mal Fairclough, Pool)

    Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, right, and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott shake hands during an ecumenical church service held at Ukrainian Greek Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Poroshenko is on a two-day visit to Australia with talks of the downing of MH17 over Ukraine with the loss of 38 Australian citizens and residents expected to high on the agenda. (AP Photo/Mal Fairclough, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko gestures during an ecumenical church service held at Ukrainian Greek Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.  Poroshenko is on a two-day visit to Australia with talks of the downing of MH17 over Ukraine with the loss of 38 Australian citizens and residents expected high on the agenda. (AP Photo/Mal Fairclough, Pool)

    Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko gestures during an ecumenical church service held at Ukrainian Greek Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Poroshenko is on a two-day visit to Australia with talks of the downing of MH17 over Ukraine with the loss of 38 Australian citizens and residents expected high on the agenda. (AP Photo/Mal Fairclough, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Australia has pledged its support for Ukraine during a visit by the nation's president and urged Russia to honor a little-respected cease-fire agreement signed in September.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Melbourne on Thursday to discuss the European country's ongoing conflict with Russia and the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over territory held by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine. Australia lost 38 citizens and residents in the disaster.

During a press conference, Poroshenko urged Russia to withdraw its troops and close the border. He said if Russia does this, peace and stability in Ukraine will return within weeks.