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Kerry urges Russia to join US, allies in helping Ukraine

Published on Feb 28, 2014 5:07 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Russia on Thursday to join the United States and allies in stabilizing Ukraine and said he would watch closely whether Moscow keeps its word not to interfere in the internal affairs of the former Soviet republic.

Mr Kerry's comments came as Ukraine warned Russia about troop movements after armed men seized the parliament in Ukraine's Crime region and raised the Russian flag.

Mr Kerry said he spoke by phone on Thursday to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who reaffirmed earlier statements by President Vladimir Putin that Moscow would respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Mr Lavrov also underscored that Russian military exercises on the border of Ukraine were previously scheduled and not related to events in Ukraine, Mr Kerry added.

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