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US demands 'concrete steps' by Moscow on Ukraine

A pro-Russian activist guards a barricade outside the regional administrative building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on April 21, 2014US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Russia to take “concrete steps” to implement an agreement on defusing the crisis in Ukraine. The accord, struck last week in Geneva, was meant to lower the heat on the worst confrontation between Washington and Moscow since the Cold War, but each side has accused the other of violating it. In a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, 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 spokeswoman 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.

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