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Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley makes a statement upon her arrival at U.N. headquarters in New York City, NY, U.S. January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, blamed Russia on Thursday for the surge of violence in the eastern Ukraine since late January.

"I consider it unfortunate on the occasion of my first appearance here I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia," Haley said, making her first public remarks inside the Security Council since being sworn in as the United States' representative last month.

"It shouldn't happen, or be that way. We do want to better our relations with Russia. However, the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions."

(Reporting By Ned Parker; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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