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US demands 'concrete steps' by Moscow on Ukraine to defuse crisis

Published on Apr 22, 2014 2:18 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Russia to take "concrete steps" to implement an agreement on defusing the crisis in Ukraine.

In a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Mr Kerry said the steps should include "publicly calling on separatists to vacate illegal buildings and checkpoints, accept amnesty and address their grievances politically," State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said.

"He also called on Russia to assign a senior diplomat to work with the OSCE mission in eastern Ukraine, to make absolutely clear to the separatists that Russia supports the agreement and wants de-escalation.

"He also called on Russia to speak out against the seizing of journalists and other innocents as hostages," she said.

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