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John Kerry and Baroness Ashton in Geneva talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry has begun bilateral talks with the EU's high representative for foreign affairs, Baroness Ashton, about the situation in Ukraine.

Later this morning the pair will join the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers for a further round of talks on resolving the crisis.

Leaked call claims 'snipers hired by Ukrainian opposition'

The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev last month were allegedly hired by opposition leaders, according to a leaked recording of a phone call between the European Union foreign affairs chief Baroness Ashton and Estonia’s foreign minister Urmas Paet.

In a statement, Estonia's foreign ministry has confirmed its authenticity and said the conversation took place on February 26, after their minister's return from Kiev.

In the recording - which was broadcast online by the state-controlled TV channel Russia Today - Mr Paet claims he has been told of evidence that suggests the opposition hired the snipers which shot at protesters and police.

"Evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides was the same snipers killing people from both sides," he is heard saying.

"There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovich but it was somebody from the new coalition."

A woman, believed to be Baroness Ashton, replied: "I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh.”

Estonia say they "reject the claim that Paet was giving an assessment of the opposition’s involvement in the violence."


Ashton: EU & Russia agree Ukraine violence must stop

Baroness Ashton - the EU foreign affairs representative - says the EU and Russia agree that violence must stop in Ukraine to ensure a stable future.

The EU foreign affairs representative Catherine Ashton. Credit: Press Association

She added that free and fair elections in Ukraine must take place in proper time, not necessarily in weeks.

EU assistance given to Egypt to be reviewed

European Union foreign policy chief, Baroness Ashton, has said the EU governments have agreed to review the assistance given to Egypt, in light of the recent bloodshed in the country.

She added that the most vulnerable would continue to receive help. Her comments follow an emergency meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

Baroness Ashton: Ousted Egyptian president is 'well'

Baroness Ashton at a news conference yesterday Credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The European Union's foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton has said deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi was "well" and had access to television and newspapers when she visited him.

She spoke to journalists after meeting Mr Mursi at an undisclosed location last night.

EU foreign policy chief holds talks with Morsi

European Union foreign policy chief Cathy Ashton has met ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and held two hours of "in depth" discussions with him, her spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, said.