US concerned over 'provocative' Russian troop movement

In a telephone call with his Russian counterpart, Kerry says U.S. concerned by Russia's support for separatists and its inflammatory rhetoric

In a telephone call with his Russian counterpart, Kerry says U.S. concerned by Russia's support for separatists and its inflammatory rhetoric

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed concerns to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov over Russia's "provocative" troop movements along the Ukrainian border, a U.S. official said on Saturday.

In a telephone conversation with Lavrov, Kerry expressed continued concern that Russia's "support for separatists and its inflammatory rhetoric are undermining stability, security and unity in Ukraine," the senior official said.

Kerry called for Russian support to liberate a kidnapped Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe inspector and their Ukrainian guides who were being held hostage by pro-Russian separatists in Slavyansk.

He and Lavrov also discussed efforts to remove chemical weapons from war-torn Syria.

Both diplomats said 92 percent of chemical weapons had been removed from Syria, stressing that they need to complete the process.

Kerry said Washington planned to continue consultations with the chemical weapons watchdog and the United Nations to investigate the facts surrounding allegations of a series of recent chlorine gas attacks in Syria.

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