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No EU fatigue towards helping Ukraine, says Mogherini

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By Natalie Huet  with Reuters, AP
No EU fatigue towards helping Ukraine, says Mogherini

The European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday there was "no fatigue" on the part of the EU towards Ukraine, as demonstrated by its extension of sanctions on Russia and financial aid for Kiev.

The European Council said it had extended sanctions against Russia, imposed over Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine, for another six months. These include travel restrictions and asset freezes against 150 people and 38 companies.

"The European Union is Ukraine's partner and strongest supporter in striving to build a stable, prosperous democracy and economy," Mogherini said on a visit to Kiev.

"There is no fatigue in our support for Ukraine, also because we have seen results," Mogherini said at a press briefing with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

However, she also urged authorities to do more to fight corruption.

The EU aims to disburse the first tranche of a new assistance package worth 1 billion euros to Ukraine before the end of the year, but the conditions of that aid are yet to be discussed, she said.

Mogherini also commented on Gazprom's recent decision to suspend pre-paid gas supplies to Ukraine – a move that could threaten gas flows to Europe.

She said Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission, in charge of Energy Union, was having talks with Gazprom to try and solve this issue, and stressing the need for Gazprom to fulfill its contractual obligations.