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Lukashenka: Crisis In Ukraine's East Cannot Be Solved Without U.S.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine cannot be solved without U.S. involvement.

Lukashenka made the comment during a meeting in Minsk on March 30 with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Carpenter.

Lukashenka said "if the United States wants to end the war in eastern Ukraine tomorrow and takes a few steps in that direction, the ‘meat grinder’ there will come to a halt."

He called the United States "the world's leading country with which every nation cooperates."

Lukashenka also hailed what he called improved ties between Minsk and the West, saying relations had entered a “new phase.”

In February, the European Union ended five years of sanctions against Belarus and Lukashenka, praising the Belarusian leader for the release of political prisoners in August 2015 and for Minsk's role in hosting international talks on curtailing the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Based on reporting by BelTA and Interfax