18:14 GMT22 October 2020
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    Deputy Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic stated that US Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Kiev could put at risk crisis settlement in Ukraine.

    DONETSK, November 21 (Sputnik) — The US Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Kiev could jeopardize crisis settlement in Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and its permanent envoy to the Minsk talks Denis Pushilin warned Friday.

    US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev Thursday evening to hold talks with Ukrainian leaders.

    "Biden's visit to Kiev is aimed at disrupting the peace process. Washington's offers to change the format of the Minsk talks to something else may result in a re-escalation of the conflict. Americans want to get into the process themselves, which will weaken the peacekeeping position of the European Union. At the same time, they want to exclude DPR and LPR from the process, which will lead to a deadlock situation," Pushilin said.

    Pushilin stressed that possible supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine by the United States would also contribute to an escalation of the crisis.

    "Washington has openly stated the need to supply lethal weapons to Kiev. Thus, the United States is offering a new war instead of the Minsk talks. From the beginning, they have encouraged bloodshed in Ukraine. First at Maidan, then in Odessa and in the southeast," he added.

    According to Pushilin, Ukraine's central leadership will undoubtedly support "Biden's aggressive ideas".

    "Instead of de-escalation, a re-escalation of tensions awaits. And the chances of a new war are high. The responsibility for a possible failure of the Minsk talks rests solely on Biden and Poroshenko," he stressed.

    Following a February coup in Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk residents established people's republics that later declared their independence. The crisis in Ukraine escalated when Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine in mid-April.

    The conflicting sides reached a ceasefire agreement at a September 5 meeting in Minsk of the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which comprises representatives from Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Ukraine (OSCE) and Russia. A memorandum specifying the implementation of the ceasefire was adopted at another Contact Group meeting on September 19. Both sides have subsequently accused each other of violating the truce.

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