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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (R) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis during a meeting in Kiev, Ukraine August 24, 2017. Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Pool via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

KIEV (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on a visit to Ukraine on Thursday said Washington would continue to put pressure on Russia over what he called its aggressive behaviour, but stopped short of promising to provide lethal weapons to Kiev.

Mattis said Russia has not abided by the Minsk ceasefire agreement meant to end separatist violence in eastern Ukraine.

"Despite Russia's denials, we know they are seeking to redraw international borders by force, undermining the sovereign and free nations of Europe," Mattis told reporters, alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Pavel Polityuk; editing by Matthias Williams and Robin Pomeroy)

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Reuters