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Kerry warns Russia of sanctions
23 Apr 2014 06:06
US Secretary of State John Kerry has told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a telephone call that Washington would impose more sanctions on Russia if tensions did not de-escalate in eastern Ukraine, a senior US official said.
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The official said Mr Kerry talked to both Mr Lavrov and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk.
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"With Foreign Minister Lavrov, the secretary expressed deep concern over the lack of positive Russian steps to de-escalate"
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"[He also] cited mounting evidence that separatists continue to increase the number of buildings under occupation and take journalists and other civilians captive," he said.
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"He urged Russia to tone down escalatory rhetoric, engage diplomatically in the east with the OSCE and Ukrainian government, and issue public statements calling for those occupying buildings to disarm and stand down in exchange for amnesty," he added.
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The official said Mr Kerry also reiterated that the absence of measurable progress on implementing last week's Geneva agreement would result in increased sanctions on Russia.
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In Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Mr Lavrov had told Mr Kerry that Ukraine must take urgent steps to implement the Geneva agreement aimed at defusing the Ukraine crisis.
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