US warns Russia over rising Ukraine tension

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says he has called Russia’s foreign minister to express U.S. concerns over military activity in Crimea that could further inflame tensions in Ukraine following the ouster of its Russian-backed president.

Kerry spoke by phone to Sergey Lavrov on Friday after seeing reports of pro-Russia gunmen patrolling streets in armored vehicles and taking over airports in the country’s Crimea region. He said Lavrov assured him that Russia intends to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity but noted that Russia has interests in the former Soviet republic, including a naval base in Crimea.

Kerry said the U.S. is watching to see if Russian activity “might be crossing a line in any way” and urged Moscow against action that might be misinterpreted as a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Associated Press

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