July 25, 2019 / 5:39 PM / 23 days ago

Trump congratulates Ukraine's Zelenskiy on parliamentary elections

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks at his party's headquarters after a parliamentary election in Kiev, Ukraine July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelenskiy on holding parliamentary elections which Zelenskiy’s party won, and offered U.S. help to promote reforms in Ukraine, Zelenskiy’s office said on Thursday.

Zelenskiy, a television sitcom star who was elected in a landslide in May, called an early parliamentary election to replace a parliament dominated by loyalists of his predecessor. His party won a majority of seats in the vote, held on Sunday.

Trump told Zelenskiy by phone he was confident that the new Ukrainian leadership would improve the country’s image, Zelenskiy’s office said.

Zelenskiy thanked Trump for maintaining and intensifying sanctions on Russia. The United States and European Union imposed financial sanctions in 2014 after Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and backed a separatist uprising.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh

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