World

Kerry says Moscow could rebuild relations with the West just by easing tensions in Ukraine

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, shakes hands with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, left, during a bilateral meeting after the opening session of the 21st OSCE Ministerial Council at the Basel Exhibition Center, in Basel, Switzerland, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Gillieron, Pool)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, shakes hands with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, left, during a bilateral meeting after the opening session of the 21st OSCE Ministerial Council at the Basel Exhibition Center, in Basel, Switzerland, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Gillieron, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with the new Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili, right, during a bilateral meeting after the opening session of the 21st OSCE Ministerial Council at the Basel Exhibition Center, in Basel, Switzerland, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Gillieron, Pool)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with the new Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili, right, during a bilateral meeting after the opening session of the 21st OSCE Ministerial Council at the Basel Exhibition Center, in Basel, Switzerland, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Gillieron, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia could rebuild its relations with the West if it simply helps calm the violence on its border with eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists are fighting with Kiev forces.

Kerry was at a meeting Thursday of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which includes both the United States and Russia as partners.

OSCE has sought to help broker an enduring cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, where it's believed Moscow is supporting the separatists with weapons and troops in their quest to secede from Ukraine's central government.

Kerry says Russia must uphold a cease-fire agreement it committed to months ago, which calls for withdrawing its support for the separatists and persuading them to release their hostages.