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US, Russia Talks Fail to End Ukraine Impasse

09-08-2014
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Russia may begin pulling back troops from the border of Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin offered the partial withdraw.

Putin made the offer in a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart Sunday in Paris, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. But after four hours of diplomatic talks there are still no resolutions for the Ukrainian crisis.

Kerry said any progress must include the withdraw of all the tens of thousands of Russian troops along the border.

"Is it smart at this moment in time to have that number of troops amassed on a border when you are sending a message that you want to de-escalate and move in the other direction?" Kerry asked.

Lavrov said the two countries have differing viewpoints as to the cause of the Ukrainian crisis, but they agreed "on the need to search for points of common ground to find a diplomatic settlement."

"The United States still considers the Russian actions to be illegal and illegitimate and Russia's actions over the past several weeks have placed it at odds obviously with the rule of law in the international community," Kerry said.

Russia is also demanding that Ukraine redraw its new constitution, making the country a loose federation of states -- an option the United States is ruling out unless Ukrainians are at the table.

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