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Lavrov calls for 'de-escalation of rhetoric' over Ukraine

Russian troops near the Ukrainian border will return to its permanent bases after completing its military exercises, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said, calling for a "de-escalation" of rhetoric.

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Practical steps taken to make Crimea part of Russia

The legal process required to make Crimea part of Russia will be completed this week, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, two days after President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to bring the Ukrainian region into Russia.

"Practical steps are being taken to implement the agreements on the entry of Crimea and (the Crimean port city of) Sevastopol into Russia," Itar-Tass news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.

"The legal process will be completed this week."

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