Russia proposes international "support group" on Ukraine

MOSCOW, March 17 Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:43am EDT

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MOSCOW, March 17 (Reuters) - Russia proposed on Monday creating an international support group to mediate in the Ukraine crisis but set out goals unlikely to be acceptable to the West.

In response to western calls for a "contact group", Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that its proposed international support group would push for Ukrainian recognition of the Crimean referendum and would urge Ukraine to implement portions of a Feb. 21 peace deal.

The support group would also urge Ukraine to adopt a new constitution setting out broad powers for the country's regions, and require Ukraine to uphold military and political neutrality.

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