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Obama calls on Putin to rein in separatists in Ukraine as Lavrov visits China

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Obama calls on Putin to rein in separatists in Ukraine as Lavrov visits China


US President Barack Obama has called on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to use his influence to rein in pro-Moscow protesters in eastern Ukraine.

The two leaders spoke by phone as militia continue to occupy government buildings.

Putin has rejected accusations that Russia is behind the agitation.

Meanwhile his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is in Beijing for talks in the capital where the situation in Ukraine has been discussed.

Lavrov thanked the Chinese “for an unbiased and well-balanced position” according to the TASS news agency.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague is convinced Russia is behind the unrest in Ukraine: “There is very little doubt, there can’t really be any real doubt, that this is something that has been planned and brought about by Russia. The forces involved are well-armed, well-trained, well-equipped, well coordinated, behaving in exactly the same way as what turned out to be Russian forces behaving in Crimea.”

EU foreign ministers came together in Brussels, and Ukraine was central to their talks.

They decided to add to the list of 18 Russian and Crimean individuals who are subject to a travel ban and asset freeze.

Further, what are called Phase Three sanctions, are under discussion.

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