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Biden condemns Ukraine cease-fire violations

February 18, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is condemning violations of a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine that the White House is blaming on pro-Russian separatists and Russian forces.

Biden spoke by phone Tuesday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The White House says the violation occurred in and around the city of Debaltseve and it was confirmed by special monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Biden is also condemning Russia and the separatists for blocking the monitors’ access and says that’s allowed the separatists to continue attacks unabated. He says if Russia keeps violating the agreements reached with Ukraine, costs for Russia will increase.

Despite a new peace plan and promises to pull back heavy weapons, Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels have been fighting fierce battles for control of the city.

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