- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States will supply Ukraine with nearly $18 million in aid to provide shelter, food vouchers, potable water and health and sanitation in regions affected by fighting between government forces and pro-Russia fighters.

The White House says Vice President Joe Biden informed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (por-oh-SHEHN’-koh) about the new assistance in a telephone call Monday.

The two men are welcoming efforts by the Organization for Security and Cooperation Europe to seek a permanent ceasefire in areas still experiencing fighting. Both are calling on Russia to abide by earlier agreements and stop moving troops along the Russia-Ukraine border.

The call came as U.S. and Ukraine troops kicked off joint training exercises intended to help bolster Ukraine’s defenses against incursions from the Russian-backed separatists in the east.

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