September 1, 2014
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) - Secretary of State John Kerry calls today's release of seven European military observers in Ukraine "a step." But he says "there are many other steps that have to be taken in order to be able to de-escalate the situation" in Ukraine.
Kerry says it's important that Russia withdraw support for separatists who have seized government buildings in about a dozen cities and towns in Ukraine.
Russia denies allegations it's fomenting the unrest in eastern Ukraine.
Kerry spoke by phone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR'-gay LAHV'-rahf) while flying from Ethiopia to Congo today, after pro-Russian insurgents released the seven European military observers and five Ukrainian assistants who'd been held for more than a week.
Kerry says they discussed the violence in Odessa, where at least 42 people died in clashes between government supporters and opponents Friday, and that everything possible must be done to end it.