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Biden Says 'Illegal' Russian Occupation of Crimea Must End

  • Vice president visits Ukraine to show U.S. support in conflict
  • Russia, U.S. remain at cross-purposes in Ukraine and Syria
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Obama Plays Diplomat to Putin, Erdogan Tensions

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Vice President Joe Biden called Russia’s annexation of Crimea “illegal” in a demonstration of solidarity with Ukraine’s government that signaled the U.S. won’t bargain away its support for the country to win Russian cooperation in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.

“The United States stands firmly with the people of Ukraine in the face of continued -- and I emphasize continued -- aggression from Russia and Russian-backed separatists,” Biden said in Kiev on Monday, following a meeting with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko.