EU's Tusk stresses Ukraine cooperation in Trump call

Brussels (AFP) - European Council President Donald Tusk stressed the need for transatlantic cooperation on Ukraine during a phone call Friday with US President-elect Donald Trump, an EU source said.

Tusk, the European Union source said, also spoke by phone to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who has asked for Trump's support against "Russian aggression" following Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Trump suggested earlier this year the US could accept Russia's annexation of Crimea if it led to improved relations between the two nations, which are bitterly at odds over Syria.

"Tusk congratulated Trump on his election, invited him for an EU-US summit and emphasised transatlantic cooperation including regarding Ukraine," the EU source said on condition of anonymity, repeating an earlier invitation.

Trump thanked Tusk for the invitation and "invited Tusk to the White House before an EU-US summit, after his inauguration" on January 20, the source added.

The EU source said Tusk and Poroshenko discussed "transatlantic cooperation on the Ukraine/Russia conflict" and preparation for the EU-Ukraine summit next Thursday.

The pair also discussed EU member states approval Thursday of visa-free travel for Ukraine citizens, long sought by Kiev to help cement ties as it combats pro-Russian rebels in the east.

Visa-free travel was part of an EU-Ukraine partnership accord signed in 2014 as the country, a Soviet-era satellite, angered Moscow by casting its lot with the West.

In Berlin on Thursday, US President Barack Obama said he hoped his successor Trump would "stand up" to Russia if it breached international norms, citing the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

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