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US, Europe Wary of Russian Actions, Pledge Support for Ukraine | VOA News |

PENTAGON - The intensifying violence in eastern Ukraine -- and fears of increased Russian involvement -- have gripped the attention of both the United States and Europe.

Officials are now intensely working on a response to calm tensions across the region, even as President Barack Obama spoke again with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about the crisis.

European ministers arriving for talks in Luxembourg, wary of the violent turn of events in eastern Ukraine, had no problem placing blame.  British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is pointing his finger squarely at Moscow.

"It has all the appearances of a further gross, deliberate and premeditated violation of the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine," he said.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is equally blunt. "So far they've been escalating, and if they continue to escalate, I think we should escalate," he said.

Which is what they did, by agreeing to expand sanctions and visa bans against Russia. Even as Europe moved for more actions, the U.S. military announced a Russian fighter jet, like these, made 12 low-altitude, close-range passes near the USS Donald Cook while patrolling international waters in the Black Sea Saturday.

Pentagon officials said the Russian jet was not armed with missiles but called the actions "provocative and unprofessional."

Regime change coordinator and US Ambassador of perilous states Geoffrey Pyatt and Robert Ford ...

by Oui on Fri Apr 16th, 2021 at 06:02:22 PM EST
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