Russia accused of "redrawing map of Europe"

(Beta/AP, file)

Russia accused of "redrawing map of Europe"

BRUSSELS -- U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden said in Brussels that his country and the EU "must work together to confront Russia's attempts to redraw the map of Europe."

"While Ukraine fights for survival, Russia sends tanks and mercenaries," Biden said as he addressed reporters together with the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

Biden then accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of "systematically violating the ceasefire agreements and the agreement that was reached last September in Minsk."

"We need to jointly oppose attempts by Russia to redraw the map of Europe, because that is exactly what Putin is trying to do," said he.

Tusk said that the EU and the U.S. "stand shoulder to shoulder" and will persist in supporting "the territorial integrity of Ukraine" and the pressure on Russia to accept a peaceful solution.

"We must prevent Russia from dividing the Western world," he said.

Both high officials pointed to the importance of joint and coordinated fight against terrorism and extremism and the threat of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Biden was scheduled to later on Friday meet with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Frederica Mogherini, and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

As was announced by the European Commission, the U.S. vice-president and his interlocutors will not address reporters afterwards "due to a lack of time."

Biden said he was keen to encourage European partners to as soon as possible finalize the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that have been ongoing for several...

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