Diplomats meeting for emergency talks on the crisis in Ukraine issued a joint statement Thursday aimed at de-escalating the tensions and ensuring the security of all Ukrainians.
It calls for all illegal armed groups to be disarmed, all illegally seized buildings to be returned to legitimate owners, and for all occupied public spaces to be vacated.
The statement followed talks lasting several hours between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, his acting Ukrainian counterpart Andriy Deshchytsia and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
Kerry said the sides had worked hard to narrow the differences between them.
Lavrov, giving a news conference, echoed the statement, as well as stressing the need for Russian speakers in Ukraine to be protected from discrimination.
The emergency talks in Geneva were called in the hope of resolving a deepening crisis that has seen armed pro-Russian protesters seize swaths of Ukraine.
The unrest in the restive east, which shares a border with Russia, has been spiraling so fast it has left diplomacy behind in the dust.
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