US and Russia discuss possible talks on Ukraine
The United States said on Monday it wants to see talks between Washington, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union to seek a way to calm the political crisis in Ukraine.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said US Secretary of State John Kerry had discussed holding such four-way talks in a call with his Russian opposite number Sergei Lavrov.
But she also echoed an earlier warning that Washington sees the hand of Moscow behind some of the unrest in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Kremlin separatists have seized government buildings.
"He conveyed to Foreign Minister Lavrov that the United States is watching events over the last 24 hours in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Lugansk and Mariupol with great concern and noted that these do not appear to be a spontaneous set of events," Psaki said.
"Rather, the secretary noted the Ukrainian government's assertion that this appeared to be a carefully orchestrated campaign with Russian support.
"He made clear that any further Russian efforts to destabilize Ukraine will incur further costs for Russia and the ministers also discussed convening direct talks within the next 10 days between Ukraine, Russia, the United Stades and the EU to try to de-escalate the tensions.
"Discussions about the right timing and agenda for that meeting will of course continue."
Earlier, the White House had warned that Russia could face broader economic sanctions if it continues to interfere in eastern Ukraine, having already annexed the breakaway Crimean Peninsula.
© 2014 AFP