Kerry Speaks with Ukrainian, Russian Leaders, Urges De-Escalation
(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday in an attempt to de-escalate tensions in the region. Early Saturday morning, with concerns already abound of Russian tanks and militants spilling across the border into Ukraine, a Ukrainian military plane was shot down, killing all 49 people aboard.
In response, an angry mob of Ukrainians overturned diplomatic cars, dragged down the Russian flag and threw rocks at windows of the Russian embassy in Kiev. In speaking with both Lavrov and Yatsenyuk, Kerry made clear that the ongoing flow of weaponry and militants across the Ukrainian border was a concern, and urged both sides to contribute to the de-escalation. Kerry also discussed ongoing negotiations over gas prices with Yatsenyuk and the situation in Iraq with Lavrov.
In a statement, the State Department condemned the attack on the Russian embassy, urging Ukrainian authorities to provide adequate security to the Russian embassy, citing Vienna Convention obligations.
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