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High-stakes talks on Ukraine kick off in Geneva

Published on Apr 17, 2014 5:15 PM
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) looks on as US Secretary of State John Kerry (second from right) starts a quadrilateral meeting between representatives of the United States, Ukraine, Russia and the European Union about the ongoing situation in Ukraine in Geneva on April 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

GENEVA (AFP) - High-stakes talks bringing together Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union kicked off in Geneva on Thursday in a bid to ease the worsening crisis in the former Soviet republic.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Ukrainian counterpart Andriy Deshchytsya, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sat down at the negotiating table, just hours after three pro-Moscow separatists were killed in Ukraine's south-east during a raid on a military base, ratcheting up tensions.