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Executives from the EU and the US meet to discuss Russia’s military build-up surrounding Ukraine.

During a phone chat on Saturday, EU foreign policy director Josep Borrell and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reviewed Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine.

The contact came ahead of a security conference between the US and Russia on January 10 in Geneva.

The EU and the US reaffirmed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, as well as the importance of Russia de-escalating and fully implementing the Minsk agreements, according to a statement released by the EU.

It warned that any further military assault against Ukraine would have far-reaching implications and high costs.

They also addressed bilateral and multilateral diplomatic interactions in light of the Russian Federation’s proposals regarding Moscow’s views on European security arrangements.

They emphasized the US and EU’s long-standing alliance and shared commitments to Transatlantic security and addressing mutual security threats.

They agreed that any discussion of European security would be conducted in conjunction with and with the participation of the EU and that they would stay in close contact on all critical issues.

In 2014, Russia annexed and occupied the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, and it is still the de facto ruler. Moscow began supporting separatist forces in eastern Ukraine against the central government the following year, a tactic it has continued for the past eight years.

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