Obama accuses Russia of escalating conflict in Ukraine, promises steps against aggression

U.S.President Barack Obama blamed Russia for escalating the conflict in eastern Ukraine and promised to look at all other options to ‘ratchet up the pressure on Russia’ on the issue of Ukraine.

“We are deeply concerned about the latest break in the ceasefire and the aggression that these separatists — with Russian backing, Russian equipment, Russian financing, Russian training and Russian troops — are conducting,” Obama told a news conference during a visit to India on Sunday.

U.S. have no interest in seeing Russia weakened or its economy ‘in shambles’, Obama stressed. “We have a profound interest, as I believe every country does, in promoting a core principle, which is: Large countries don’t bully smaller countries,” news channel CNN quotes him as saying.

According to the U.S.President, the military option is ‘out’ but all additional options to tackle the issue will be considered.

NATO accuses Moscow of sending troops to fight on behalf of rebels in territory the Kremlin has dubbed “New Russia” in a war that has killed more than 5,000 people.

Fighting in eastern Ukraine had mainly died down since a September ceasefire, but in recent days the war has returned in full force, with the rebels announcing the effective end of the truce and an offensive to expand territory under their control.

On Saturday separatists attacked Mariupol, a strategic Black Sea port of 500,000 people and the biggest city still in government hands in the two rebel-dominated eastern provinces. Kyiv said 30 civilians were killed in shelling.

www.belsat.eu/en, following CNN, Reuters

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