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US Vice-president Joe Biden says Russia 'trying to pull Ukraine apart'

Published on Apr 22, 2014 9:13 PM
 
Ukraine's acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (right) shakes hands with US Vice President Joe Biden before their meeting in Kiev on April 22, 2014. US Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, accused Russia of "trying to pull Ukraine apart" and pledged Washington's strong support for Kiev's leaders, as a Cold War-style confrontation over the former Soviet republic ratcheted up. -- PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (AFP) - US Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday accused Russia of "trying to pull Ukraine apart" and pledged Washington's strong support for Kiev's leaders, as a Cold War-style confrontation over the former Soviet republic ratcheted up.

Mr Biden was speaking in Kiev amid worrying signs on the ground that diplomacy was failing to calm the crisis. Pro-Kremlin rebels in Ukraine's east overnight claimed control of the police station in the town of Kramatorsk, where they already occupied the town hall.

Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said the new seizure "puts a cross through all the agreements reached in Geneva".

That referred to an accord signed last Thursday by Ukraine, Russia, the United States and Europe designed to de-escalate the volatile situation and prevent it spiralling into civil war, or worse.

 
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