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Russia: deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions

JOHN HEILPRIN LARA JAKESAssociated Press Published: April 17, 2014 12:45 PM
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GENEVA (AP) -- Russia's foreign minister says top diplomats have agreed to take immediate steps toward calming tensions in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the four parties gathered Thursday in Geneva -- the U.S., European Union, Ukraine and Russia -- will work to establish a broad national dialogue to ensure that people's rights are protected.

He said that amnesty will be given to pro-Russian protesters who participated in an uprising against the government in Kiev, except those found guilty of capital crimes.

The tentative agreement could put on hold -- for now at least -- economic sanctions the West had prepared to impose on Russia if the talks were fruitless. And that would ease international pressure both on Moscow and nervous European Union nations that depend on Russia for their energy.

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