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Ukraine president calls on US Congress to establish investment fund for his country

September 18, 2014, 22:43 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Poroshenko also stressed Ukraine needs American aid to reform its “economy and justice system”

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WASHINGTON, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday called on the US Congress to establish a special fund "to support US companies' investment in Ukraine".

Poroshenko, on a visit to the United States, also stressed Ukraine needs American aid to reform its “economy and justice system”.

Ukraine has been in political and economic turmoil since the end of last year, when then-President Viktor Yanukovich refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union to study the deal more thoroughly. The refusal triggered riots, which resulted in a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev. It seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia in mid-March 2014 after a referendum. Crimea’s example apparently inspired residents of Ukraine’s southeast who formed militias and started fighting for their rights.

Clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the embattled southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, have resulted in some 3,000 deaths, according to UN data, and massive destruction.

The parties to the conflict agreed on cessation of fire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Minsk on September 5.

The association agreement between Ukraine and the EU was eventually signed on June 27 under the new president, Western-leaning billionaire businessman and politician Poroshenko, who won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine set by the provisional Kiev authorities.

Poroshenko, dubbed “the chocolate king” because his structures control Ukraine’s Roshen confectionery manufacturer, had funded anti-government protests that led to February's coup.

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