US warns Ukraine rebels against new offensive

4th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

The United States warned pro-Russia separatists and Moscow on Tuesday against seeking to grab more territory in Ukraine, saying such a move would be a "gross violation" of recent peace deals.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Kiev was deploying new units to the east to counter any bid by the rebels to seize more areas outside of their enclaves centered on the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk.

"Any attempt to push further into Ukraine would be another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and a gross violation of the Minsk agreement signed by Russia, Ukraine and the separatists," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

"There is a path back to the peace process that only if Russia and its proxies fully implement their commitments" under the September 5 ceasefire deal signed in the Belarus capital Minsk.

Poroshenko said Ukrainian troops were in place to defend cities from Mariupol on the Black Sea to Kharkiv in the northeast, near Russia.

Psaki condemned new separatist attacks on Mariupol and around Donetsk airport, and again called on "Russia and its proxies" to remove all troops, weapons and equipment from Ukraine and allow monitors in.

© 2014 AFP

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