Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko meets U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) during the 51st Munich Security Conference at the 'Bayerischer Hof' hotel in Munich February 7, 2015. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
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Germany's Angela Merkel warned on Saturday that sending arms to help Ukraine fight pro-Russian separatists would not solve the crisis there, drawing a sharp rebuke from a leading U.S. senator who accused Berlin of turning its back on an ally in distress.A recent rebel offensive has triggered a flurry of shuttle diplomacy, with Merkel and French President Francois Hollande jetting to Moscow on Friday to try to convince Putin to do a peace deal.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, also in Munich, said there were "good grounds for optimism" that the talks between Merkel, Putin and Hollande could yield a deal.But Lavrov also delivered a diatribe against the West. He accused Europe and the United States of supporting a "coup d'etat" against deposed Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich, a Moscow ally, a year ago and turning a blind eye to nationalists he said were intent on ethnic cleansing in eastern Ukraine.
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