Reuters International

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko before their bilateral meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Biden told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in a call on Friday that the United States is prepared to move forward with a third loan guarantee agreement to support reforms against corruption, the White House said.

The United States promised the third $1 billion (£696.1 million) loan guarantee in November, but it was contingent on progress on reforms and fighting corruption.

Biden also welcomed the appointment of a new prosecutor general in Ukraine as "an important first step to bringing much needed reform," to the prosecutor general office. Ukrainian lawmakers on Thursday appointed Yuriy Lutsenko, a close ally of Poroshenko, to the position.

Biden also spoke with Ukraine's new Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman who pledged to maintain the momentum of reform with a focus on fulfilling commitments to the International Monetary Fund, the White House said. Biden and the Ukrainian leaders also condemned aggression by combined Russian and separatist forces against Ukraine, and called upon all sides to speed progress in implementing the Minsk peace agreement, it said.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner, Roberta Rampton; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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