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Kerry calls on Russia to seek diplomatic solution over Crimea


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Russia to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis in the Crimea region of southern Ukraine following his meeting Tuesday with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Kiev.

At a news conference after his talks with the Ukrainian prime minister, Kerry condemned the Russian move to tighten control of Ukraine's autonomous region as an "act of aggression," and said the United States is committed to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

But at the same time, Kerry emphasized the need for a diplomatic way out of the crisis. "It is diplomacy and respect for sovereignty, not unilateral force, that can best solve disputes like this in the 21st century," he said.

Meanwhile in New York, the Ukrainian mission to the United Nations plans to submit to the 193-member U.N. General Assembly by the end of next week a draft resolution calling for an immediate end to the deployment of Russian forces in Crimea, Ukrainian diplomats said.

Such a resolution would normally be submitted to the 15-member U.N. Security Council, but passing such a resolution through the venue is all but impossible given that Russia can veto it as one of the veto-wielding five permanent Security Council members.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are nonbinding.