Biden urges Ukraine president to continue ceasefire talks

Vice President Biden encouraged Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Saturday to continue talks that could lead to a ceasefire with pro-Russian separatists.

During their second phone conversation this week, Biden expressed support for Poroshenko’s efforts to convene a meeting to discuss a possible ceasefire, the White House said in a statement.

He offered condolences to Poroshenko over killings in eastern Ukraine, where artillery fire killed at least four people in an overnight attack in Maryinka, a suburb of Donetsk.

He also briefed Poroshenko on international efforts to punish Russia if it continues to provide separatists with heavy weapons and equipment.

Poroshenko gave a dim outlook on ceasefire talks in a call to Biden Thursday, telling the vice president efforts to negotiate with pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine have gone nowhere.