Europe

Ukraine's leader urges more sanctions against Russia

  • United States Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko meet for bilateral talks during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. America's commitment to NATO is "unwavering," Pence said Saturday, reassuring allies about the direction the Trump administration might take but leaving open questions about where Washington saw its relationship with the European Union and other international organizations. (Mykola Lazarenko/Presidential Press Service Pool Photo via AP)

    United States Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko meet for bilateral talks during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. America's commitment to NATO is "unwavering," Pence said Saturday, reassuring allies about the direction the Trump administration might take but leaving open questions about where Washington saw its relationship with the European Union and other international organizations. (Mykola Lazarenko/Presidential Press Service Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • People take part in a rally outside the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Protesters were demanding a stop to trade relations with Russia-occupied Ukrainian territories. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    People take part in a rally outside the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Protesters were demanding a stop to trade relations with Russia-occupied Ukrainian territories. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)  (The Associated Press)

  • People take part in a rally outside the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Protesters were demanding a stop to trade relations with Russia-occupied Ukrainian territories. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    People take part in a rally outside the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Protesters were demanding a stop to trade relations with Russia-occupied Ukrainian territories. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)  (The Associated Press)

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.