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    Biden Urges Ukraine, Russia to Avoid Escalating Tensions Over Crimea

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    Biden urged both Ukraine and Russia to avoid escalating tensions over Crimea, the White House said in a statement.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Vice President Joe Biden urged both Ukraine and Russia to avoid escalating tensions over Crimea, the White House said in a statement after Biden’s phone call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday.

    "The Vice President [Biden] urged President Poroshenko to do his part to avoid escalating tensions," the White House stated. "The Vice President noted that we have urged the Russian side to do the same."

    Biden and Poroshenko also agreed on the importance of using diplomatic means to implement the Minsk accords, the statement noted.

    Additionally, the two leaders discussed the need for Ukraine to implement anti-corruption measures and meet the International Monetary Fund’s conditions for financial assistance to Kiev.

    On Wednesday, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said that it had dismantled a spy ring organized by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in Crimea, which was preparing acts of sabotage on "critical and life-supporting elements of the peninsula's infrastructure." An FSB officer and a Russian Defense Ministry's serviceman died during a shootout that ensued during the raid.

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    Joe Biden, Crimea, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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