Another phone call between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, has centered on the ongoing Ukrainian military invasion of a pair of breakaway provinces in the nation’s far east.
Lavrov insisted that the US should use their influence with the interim Ukrainian government to urge them to begin direct negotiations with the leaders of those regions, and to stop military attacks until the negotiations happen.
Though exactly what Kerry said is unclear, the State Department insisted that their position is that Ukraine has every right to invade the region to “maintain calm and order,” saying they further commend Ukraine for its “restraint” against the civilian population of the region.
The State Department went on to claim Russia was recruiting Syrian rebels to go to Ukraine to fight against the central government. They offered no evidence to back this claim, and Russia’s support for the Syrian government makes it unclear why the rebels would suddenly be pro-Russian, but the allegation seemed to satisfy State Department officials as a way to avoid any talk of negotiations.
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