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Obama: Ukraine diplomacy holds hope but sanctions ready

By Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday that talks between Russia and Western powers aimed at ending tensions in Ukraine have potential but warned that the United States and its allies are prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. "I don't think we can be sure of anything at this point," he told reporters at a news conference. "There is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation."

Russia, West reach deal on Ukraine crisis but Obama cautious

Russia, Ukraine and the West reached a surprise deal Thursday aimed at easing the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, but US President Barack Obama cautioned it was uncertain if Moscow would stand by the agreement. The agreement laid out concrete steps to "restore security for all citizens" and crucially urged "all illegal armed groups" to disarm and vacate "seized buildings". While not spelt out explicitly, that was a likely reference to pro-Kremlin separatists who have taken over parts of Ukraine's restive southeast.

Obama's hope in check after Geneva deal

President Barack Obama had a curt assessment of his own administration's latest "breakthrough" in its tangled diplomacy with Vladimir Putin: buyer beware. US officials never held out much hope for talks in Geneva aimed at stemming the chaos in eastern Ukraine that Obama had blamed on Russian support for separatist rebels. But on the face of it, the unexpected agreement between Russia, Ukraine, the EU and United States appeared to address the immediate flashpoints of the latest brushfire in the wider Ukraine crisis.

US to send 'non-lethal' military aid to Ukraine

The United States will send helmets, medical supplies and other non-lethal military aid to Ukraine amid fears of another Russian incursion there, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Hagel said he had informed Kiev that President Barack Obama "has approved additional non-lethal military assistance for health and welfare items and other supplies." The aid includes medical supplies, helmets, sleeping mats and water purification units for Ukrainian troops, as well as shelters, small power generators and hand fuel pumps for Ukraine's border security force.

Kerry condemns anti-Semitic leaflet in eastern Ukraine

GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned as "grotesque" on Thursday the distribution of leaflets in eastern Ukraine that appeared to call on Jews to register with separatist, pro-Russian authorities. Though purported authors of the flier described it as a crude attempt to discredit them, Kerry said: "Notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they had to identify themselves as Jews ... or suffer the consequences.

Russia, West reach deal on Ukraine crisis but Obama cautious

Russia, Ukraine and the West reached a surprise deal Thursday aimed at easing the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, but US President Barack Obama cautioned it was uncertain if Moscow would stand by the agreement. The agreement laid out concrete steps to "restore security for all citizens" and crucially urged "all illegal armed groups" to disarm and vacate "seized buildings". While not spelt out explicitly, that was a likely reference to pro-Kremlin separatists who have taken over parts of Ukraine's restive southeast.

Obama not sure if Ukraine deal will work

US President Barack Obama said a deal Thursday to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine was a "glimmer of hope" but cautioned he could not be sure if Russia would live up to it. Obama, in a careful response to the apparent breakthrough in Geneva, said he was coordinating with leaders in Europe about further sanctions against Moscow if progress was not evident within days.

Global shares edge higher on U.S. data; dollar gains

By Sam Forgione NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose on Thursday, boosted by solid U.S. economic data and upbeat results from some U.S. companies, including General Electric, while the dollar rose after a joint call by major powers for an end to the fighting in Ukraine.

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine not about to end sit-ins

By Gabriela Baczynska and Aleksandar Vasovic DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Pro-Russian separatists occupying public buildings in eastern Ukraine reacted to an international accord to defuse the crisis on Thursday by saying they would not agree to leave the sites before other major conditions were met.

Russia, West reach surprise deal on Ukraine crisis

Russia, Ukraine and the West reached a surprise deal Thursday to try to ease the Ukrainian crisis, in a glimmer of hope for the former Soviet republic that risks splitting in two. The agreement laid out concrete steps to "restore security for all citizens" and crucially urged "all illegal armed groups" to disarm and vacate "seized buildings". While not spelt out explicitly, the groups likely referred to pro-Kremlin separatists who have taken over parts of Ukraine's restive southeast.
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