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Kerry: US hopeful diplomacy can ease Ukraine-Russia tensions

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration is hopeful diplomacy can ease tensions between Ukraine and Russia over Moscow's insistence on sending humanitarian aid to pro-Russian areas of eastern Ukraine.

Speaking Tuesday in Australia, Kerry said a series of meetings to be held in Europe this week between officials from the International Red Cross, Germany, Ukraine and potentially Russia could provide a formula under which assistance can be delivered without fear it is cover for direct Russian military intervention.

He did not give details of the meetings but said he hoped they could not only clear up the aid delivery, but also expedite the investigation into the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet over east Ukraine and talks between the Kiev government and legitimate pro-Russian Ukrainians.