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Kerry expresses concern over attacks in Ukraine

April 13, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed strong concern that attacks by armed militants in eastern Ukraine have been orchestrated and synchronized, and are similar to previous attacks in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

The State Department says that Kerry expressed his concern Saturday in a phone call with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov.

In a statement, the State Department says that Kerry made clear that if Russia does not take steps to de-escalate in eastern Ukraine and move its troops back from Ukraine’s border, there would be additional consequences.

Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency, citing the Foreign Ministry, said Kerry “could not give any concrete facts” to back his concerns. Itar-Tass reported that Lavrov warned Kerry that if the Ukrainian government uses force against the protesters, it could derail international talks on the crisis set for next week.

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