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Kerry Calls Lavrov Over Reports of Chechens in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaking during a news conference.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has raised concerns with Russia's foreign minister about reports of foreign fighters, including Chechens, crossing into Ukraine from Russia, the U.S. State Department said.

"He pressed Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov to end all support for separatists, denounce their actions and call on them to lay down their arms," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said of Kerry's telephone call with Lavrov on Wednesday.

The U.S. secretary of state also urged Russia to engage with Petro Poroshenko, a confectionary magnate who on Sunday was elected Ukraine's president, the first Ukrainian since 1991 to win the presidency in a single round of voting.

In the same call, Kerry also voiced concern about the delay in removing the remaining 8 percent of chemical weapons materials from Syria as well as the recent detention of chemical weapons inspectors in Syria, Psaki said.

See also:

Chechens in Ukraine Capture Public Interest

Syria Set to Miss Deadline for Chemical Weapons Destruction

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