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Russia to hold talks with US and NATO over Ukraine

Key talks are set to take place between the US and Russia in order to de-escalate the growing tension in Ukraine.

US Secretary of State John Kerry will sit down with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris in a bid to check Russia's increasingly hostile actions in Crimea.

President Obama held talks with Angela Merkel late last night and floated the idea of Germany acting as a mediator in the talks. Russia will also meet with NATO in Brussels in an effort to reduce the immediate threat of war in the region.

Things hotted up yesterday when Ukrainian soldiers approached Russian soldiers waving the Ukrainian flag while singing their national anthem. The Russians fired warning shots into the air and threatened that if the Ukrainians did not stop they would "shoot their legs".

Russian premier Vladmir Putin has strongly denied that Russia has acted aggressively by placing troops in Crimea. Putin referred to the groups as local defence forces while Minister Lavrov claims that Russia has no control over these men and therefore cannot order them to leave Crimea.

Due to the crisis, uncertainty continues to surround the future price of natural gas. Russian supplier Gazprom yesterday ratcheted up the pressure on Ukraine by raising gas prices and demanding payment of debts owed totaling about £1.2bn.

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