Fri Feb 6, 2015 6:23PM
US Vice President Joe Biden has once again accused Russia of “escalating the conflict” in Ukraine as Washington considers providing Kiev with lethal weapons.
Biden warned on Friday that the US and Europe must stand together over Ukraine as the leaders of Germany and France headed to Russia for peace talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We, the US and Europe as a whole, have to stand with Ukraine at this moment,” he said, amid reports of transatlantic disagreements over whether to send weapons to support the Western-backed government in Kiev.
“President Putin continues to call for new peace plans as his troops roll through the Ukrainian countryside,” Biden said as he arrived in Brussels to meet European Council President Donald Tusk.
Biden arrived in Europe on Friday for a two day visit. He will meet top European leaders in Brussels and Munich, Germany this week to discuss increasing military and financial aid to Ukraine and strengthening economic sanctions on Russia.
Ties between Washington and Moscow deteriorated last year after pro-Western forces ousted Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.
The US and its allies accuse Moscow of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces. Moscow, however, denies any involvement.
The United States and the European Union have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia, including visa bans and asset freezes.
“He absolutely ignores every agreement that his country has signed. This is a moment the United States and Europe must stand together. Stand firm. Russia cannot be allowed to redraw the map of Europe. Because that’s exactly what they are doing,” the US vice president added.
“Russia continues to escalate the conflict by sending mercenaries and tanks and, as we euphemistically say in the United States, little green men, without patches, very sophisticated special operations soldiers,” Biden claimed.