Europe News

Biden welcomes heavy weapons-free zone proposal for Ukraine: White House

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum in Washington July 13, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Friday welcomed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s proposal to create a 30-km (17-mile) zone free of tanks, artillery and mortar systems along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, the White House said.

Biden and Poroshenko, who spoke by telephone, agreed that Russia and Russian-backed separatists had still failed to implement the Minsk agreement calling for a ceasefire and the removal of heavy weapons from the line of contact, the White House said in a statement.

Reporting by Sandra Maler; Editing by Eric Beech