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Sat, 10 May 2014 02:02:33 +0000
(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday in continuing talks regarding Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine.
Lavrov reportedly said that national dialogue must be launched quickly within Ukraine. A referendum is scheduled for May 12, calling for eastern Ukraine to become an independent state. The White House has denounced the referendum, and Russian President Vladimir Putin urged pro-Moscow separatists to postpone the referendum.
Lavrov and Kerry agreed to remain in touch regarding the de-escalation of the conflict.
The U.S. State Department maintained that in any proposed discussions, Ukraine would have to be involved -- talks would not be initiated between only Russia and the United States.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the U.S. was "in discussions" with European nations regarding the "next step forward."
No meetings are planned as of Friday night.
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