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.