Kerry presses Russia to help free team in Ukraine

by The Associated Press
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Masked pro-Russian militants patrol in the local administration building in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 26, 2014. A pro-Russian insurgency leader in eastern Ukraine said Saturday that foreign military observers detained as suspected NATO spies could be released in exchange for jailed pro-Russian activists. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Masked pro-Russian militants patrol in the local administration building in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 26, 2014. A pro-Russian insurgency leader in eastern Ukraine said Saturday that foreign military observers detained as suspected NATO spies could be released in exchange for jailed pro-Russian activists. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is urging Russia to support efforts to free military observers being held by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine.

Kerry also told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR’-gay LAHV’-rahf) in a call Saturday that the United States is concerned that Moscow’s actions are “undermining stability, security and unity” in Ukraine.

The State Department says Kerry cited Russia’s “provocative” troop movements along the border, Moscow’s support for separatists and Russia’s “inflammatory rhetoric.”

Kerry also wants Russia to support — and not “denigrate” — Ukraine’s effort to stabilize the country.

A pro-Russian insurgency accuses the German-led team of military observers of being NATO spies.

The U.S. and the world’s other leading industrial powers say they’re planning more economic penalties against Russia because of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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