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 Escalation of hostilities in the Donbas was provoked by Russia - U.S. Ambassador Pyatt

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The United States are concerned with escalation of the conflict in the east of Ukraine over the past few days and with the terrorists' activities beyond the demarcation line.

"We support the position that President Poroshenko annunciated yesterday when he said he wishes to be a president of peace, not a president of war, but we also recognize and support Ukraine's sovereign right to defend its territory. We are very concerned about the escalation of hostilities which we believe Russia's proxies provoked over the past days," the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said to journalists in Kyiv on Tuesday, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax Ukraine.

He also noted that hundreds of units of military equipment are crossing the border between Ukraine and Russia. " We are also concerned about the movement of heavy military equipment that we see into sites in southwestern Russia which in the past have been used to transfer and launch equipment to the separatists in Donbas," the ambassador said.

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"Finally, we are concerned about the very large grabs of territory which we believe the separatists have made pushing beyond the lines that were established in the September 19th Minsk protocol," Pyatt added.

Pyatt voiced the position of the USA regarding the Minsk agreements: Russia and Russia-supported terrorists from the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics should return to abiding by the agreements.

He also told the reporters that the U.S. Congress approved allocation of additional $75 million to support Ukraine's security. Pyatt said that the U.S. did more over the past year for the support of Ukraine's territorial integrity and defense potential than any other country.

The U.S. have allocated $119 million to support Ukraine's security, Pyatt reminded. The ambassador said that the Congress had allocated another $75 million for additional support in the security sector within the European support initiative.

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The ambassador noted that aid to Ukraine remains non-lethal, but more technically advanced.

He also said that the issue of recognition of the self-proclaimed 'LPR' and 'DPR' republics as terrorist organizations is of legal nature.

Pyatt also assured that the Department of State, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, and FBI will assist Ukraine in creation of its police.

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The ambassador said the U.S. would support what Ukrainian party decides to do, but he insisted that work on building new state and fighting corruption should be done by the Ukrainians. Two things that inspire him the most, Pyatt said, are unity within the authorities regarding urgency of the reforms, and power and enthusiasm of the Ukrainian society.

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