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US condemns Russian bid to recognize Ukraine separatist provinces: Antony Blinken

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The United States on Wednesday strongly condemned a Russian parliament proposal to recognize Ukraine‘s two separatist republics as independent.

Such a move would “constitute a gross violation of international law,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Russia’s parliament on Tuesday voted to urge President Vladimir Putin to recognize the two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as “sovereign and independent states” amid soaring tension with the West over Moscow’s troop build-up.

“Kremlin approval of this appeal would amount to the Russian government’s wholesale rejection of its commitments under the Minsk agreements,” Blinken said, referring to a landmark 2014 deal meant to settle the Ukraine conflict.

He added that such a decision would undermine Moscow’s “stated commitment to continue to engage in diplomacy to achieve a peaceful resolution of this crisis, and necessitate a swift and firm response from the United States in full coordination with our allies and partners.”

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