Lavrov: Ukraine can't function as unified state

AP News
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Posted: Mar 30, 2014 6:06 PM

PARIS (AP) — Russia's foreign minister says Ukraine can't function as a "unified state" and should be a loose federation of regions that choose their own economic model, language and religion.

Sergei Lavrov said he and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the possibility of a federated Ukrainian state at "very, very constructive" late-night talks Sunday in Paris.

The talks are part of broader diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis in Ukraine after protests drove out a pro-Russian president and Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in response.

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He said he and Kerry agreed to work with the Ukrainian government to improve rights for Russian-speaking Ukrainians and disarming "irregular forces and provocateurs."