HELSINKI (Reuters) - There is no link between the situation in Ukraine and the Middle East regarding the U.S.'s economic sanctions on Russia, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said on Tuesday.
Asked in a news conference in the Finnish capital about U.S. president Donald Trump's idea of lifting U.S. sanctions if Russia helps the United States with fighting Islamist militants or with other goals, Poroshenko said:
"We've enjoyed very strong bipartisan support in the United States during the last three years. We don't see any reason to change this situation."
"We don't see any connection with possible progress in Middle East and the situation in Ukraine... With that situation, the only effective way is sanctions, to motivate the Russian Federation, president Putin, to be at the negotiating table."
Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014.
(Reporting by Tuomas Forsell; Writing by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Hugh Lawson)