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US Troops in Ukraine Violate Minsk Deal - Russian Foreign Ministry

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that deployment of US soldiers on Ukrainian territory violates the ceasefire deal agreed earlier this year.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) The deployment of US soldiers on Ukrainian territory violates the ceasefire deal agreed earlier this year, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

“US soldiers are firmly entrenched in Ukraine, which constitutes a flagrant violation of article 10 of the February 12 Minsk Agreement,” Zakharova said at a briefing in Moscow.

Article 10 of the ceasefire agreement reached in the Belarusian capital of Minsk calls for the pullout of all foreign armed formations, military equipment and mercenaries from Ukraine.

As part of its security assistance program launched last year, the United States sent 300 military instructors to Ukraine in April this year and has provided $245 million of security-related aid to the country.

Ukraine hosted a number of NATO military exercises under US leadership this year, including Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident-2015 in late July. The drills involved over 1,800 servicemen from 18 NATO and other partner nations.

This month, Ukraine is hosting Sea Breeze-2015 naval military exercises in the Black Sea involving around 2,500 NATO forces and 150 warships, helicopters and armored vehicles.

The Ukrainian government has said it is planning to hold three joint drills with US troops later this year.

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