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Kerry meets Lavrov, pushes for Ukrainia dialogue

US Secretary of State John Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry
WASHINGTON, March 24 (KUNA) -- Following an hour long meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, US Secretary of State John Kerry met one-on-one with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Kerry pushed for Lavrov to pursue a dialogue with the Ukrainian government, US Department of State Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters here Monday.
The brief 10-minute meeting occurred when the two took a walk outside, she said, adding: "Kerry expressed strong concern about the massing of a large number of Russian forces on the border and of the treatment of Ukrainian military forces, including many Ukrainian service members who are missing." "Kerry pointed to the sanctions announced last week and the new executive order signed by President Obama that provides the flexibility to sanction specific industries if Russia continues to take escalatory steps," she affirmed.
Kerry gave Lavrov, "an update on the steps the government of Ukraine has continued to take on constitutional reform, to counter extremists and to prepare for elections on May 25th," Harf noted.
After speaking with Kerry, Harf confirmed that Lavrov also met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia.
Harf stressed, "I think talking is good, and it's an important step, but what we need to see are Russian actions." Tomorrow marks the final day of meetings at the Nuclear Security Summit. (end) ak.gb KUNA 250026 Mar 14NNNN