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Kerry to visit Kiev as Russian forces control Crimea

Published on Mar 3, 2014 6:15 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Kiev on Tuesday to lend support to Ukraine's new interim leaders, United States (US) officials said, adding that Russian forces now controlled the Crimean peninsula.

"In Kiev, on March 4, Secretary Kerry will meet with senior representatives of Ukraine's new government, leaders of the Rada and members of civil society," State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said.

Mr Kerry "will reaffirm the United States' strong support for Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity". He will also stress "the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference or provocation", Ms Psaki added in a statement.

During a conference call with reporters, senior US administration officials repeatedly warned that Moscow risked a deepening fall-out for sending its troops into southern Crimea.

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