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U.S., Russia Trade Blame For Ukraine Crisis

The United States and Russia are each blaming the other for creating unrest in Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on April 29 accused Moscow of accelerating the crisis in Ukraine instead of sticking to an agreement to ratchet back tensions

He told a meeting at The Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank, that through its occupation of Crimea and its subsequent destabliziation of eastern Ukraine, Russia seeks to "change the security landscape of eastern Europe."

He called Russia's actions a wake-up call for the United States and its NATO partners and said that the alliance has to make it "absolutely clear to the Kremlin that NATO territory is inviolable we will defend every single piece of it."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said April 29 that the West stirred up trouble in Ukraine and now it is seeking a scapegoat and that is why it is introducing sanctions against Russia.

He also said there is no Russian military in Ukraine.

Speaking April 29 in Minsk following a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, he told reporters "We hear that there are our special forces or our instructors there. I am telling you responsibly: there are no Russian instructors, or special forces, or troops, or anybody else there."

He added that his government has proposed some steps in response to Western sanctions but that he sees "no need" as of now for them.

But he said if sanctions continue, Russia may have to reconsider participation of Western companies in its energy projects.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP