Russia to blame for "hot war" in Ukraine: US special envoy

July 23, 2017 17:48
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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

Russian aggression is to blame for violence in eastern Ukraine, where people are dying in what should be seen as a "hot war" rather than a "frozen conflict," the US special envoy to the Ukraine peace talks said on a visit to Ukraine on Sunday.

Kurt Volker, a former US ambassador to NATO, was appointed to his current role on July 7 to help resolve the conflict between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists, which has killed more than 10,000 people since 2014.

Washington cites the conflict as a key obstacle to better relations with Russia.

On a visit to the Ukrainian-held town of Kramatorsk, 690 km (430 miles) southeast of Kiev, Volker said he would prepare a set of recommendations on how Washington can better engage with the peace process.

"This is not a frozen conflict, this is a hot war, and it's an immediate crisis that we all need to address as quickly as possible," he said.

Relations between Ukraine and Russia went into freefall after Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea and the subsequent outbreak of a pro-Russian insurgency in the eastern Donbass region.

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