2014-03-12T195802Z_1_CBREA2B1JGU00_RTROPTP_2_OBAMA

Obama, Ukraine premier outline potential opening over Crimea

Obama makes remarks welcoming NCAA champion athletes to the South Lawn of the White House in WashingtonBy Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just days before a referendum in Crimea to decide if it should become part of Russia, President Barack Obama and Ukraine’s prime minister outlined a potential diplomatic opening on Wednesday that could give Russians a greater voice in the disputed region. The United States and its European allies are trying to head off the referendum that Crimea’s pro-Russian parliament is to stage in the southern region of Ukraine. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk told an Atlantic Council forum in Washington that his interim government was ready to have a dialogue and negotiations with Russia about Moscow’s concerns for the rights of ethnic Russians in Crimea, which has already been seized by the Russian military.

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