Top diplomats from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement Thursday on immediate steps to ease the crisis in Ukraine.
President Barack Obama says that the United States is not looking to go to war with Russia over the unrest in Ukraine.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday dismissed claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine as “nonsense,” but expressed hope for success of four-way talks on settling the crisis.
The two focused publicly on their mutual respect and shared concern for the poor.
Underlying talk about taking harsh punitive measures against Russia for its military incursion into Ukraine are economic complications and worries that sanctions levied against Moscow could backfire on the U.S. and Europe.
About 300 unarmed Ukrainian soldiers confronted Russian troops at an air base on the Crimean Peninsula.
Russian troops take control of Ukraine’s two main Crimean airports, say Ukrainian officials.
Ukraine isn’t typically a U.S. foreign policy priority, experts say. President Barack Obama is more occupied with Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and more.
Government and protesters have agreed to a fragile truce to mourn the dead.
Anti-government forces leave Kiev City Hall in return for the release of all jailed protesters.