The President spoke with Ukrainian President Poroshenko today to express his sympathy for the mounting toll of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and his deep concern about the ongoing violence, particularly in and around Debaltseve. The two leaders emphasized the pressing need for all signatories to implement the cease fire and protocol agreements reached at Minsk last September and reaffirmed by the Minsk Implementation Plan this week. They agreed to remain in close contact in the days ahead. Both leaders stressed the importance of establishing a lasting peace that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and unity. Separately, the President congratulated Poroshenko on Ukraine reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on an ambitious package of reforms that will help to stabilize Ukraine’s economy and lay the groundwork for growth and prosperity.