MOSCOW – Ukraine's president has called for new sanctions against Russia over its decision to recognize passports issued by separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine.
The Kremlin says its decision is a "humanitarian" move to help residents of the east suffering from Ukraine's blockade, noting it doesn't amount to recognizing the rebel regions.
Ukrainian forces have been fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since April 2014, a conflict that has killed more than 9,800 people.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday denounced Moscow's action as contradicting the 2015 peace agreement. Speaking at a meeting with EU Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Commissioner Christos Stylianides, Poroshenko called for "resolute action, up to strengthening sanctions."
The United States and the European Union have hit Russia with sanctions for its actions in Ukraine.