Six U.S. senators advised U.S. President Donald Trump to first meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and only then with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, reports Voice of America.
The letter, signed by John McCain, James Inhofe, Rob Portman, Bob Menendez, Jean Shaheen and Bob Casey, was sent amid reports that Trump and Putin are planning to hold their first in-person meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany in July.
"Meeting with democratically elected representatives from Ukraine would send a strong signal that the United States continues to prioritize our relationship with longstanding allies, and will continue our commitments to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of ongoing aggression," the senators wrote.
"Many of our allies in Europe are anxiously awaiting policy direction from your administration about our commitments to NATO and other institutions that preserve the international order that has served as the framework for international stability and security since the end of the Second World War," the senators continued to write.
According to them, they are particularly concerned about the continuing military aggression of Russia in the east of Ukraine and the continuing occupation of the Crimea.
"Because of Russia's destabilizing influence, approximately 10,000 people have been killed, over 20,000 wounded, and nearly 2 million internally displaced since 2014," the letter said. "This kind of instability can have far-reaching consequences for our allies and our interests in the region".
"In this vein, we strongly encourage you to meet with senior leaders from Ukraine, including President Petro Poroshenko, in advance of any official meetings with senior Russian officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin," the senators wrote.
Ukraine hoped to organize a meeting between Poroshenko and Trump in February 2017, but failed to do so. In April, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said that the discussion regarding the date of the meeting is still ongoing.