NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Foreign Minister Says No Plan to Break Diplomatic Ties with Ukraine” – Wall Street Journal
… Lavrov said Russia had no intention of breaking diplomatic ties with Ukraine and was discussing the possibility of organizing joint talks with Ukrainian, Russian, French and German officials aimed at resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine. … Lavrov’s comments … come after … Putin blamed Ukraine … for incidents in #Crimea that left two Russian service members dead and said Russia would respond. … Putin indicated that Russia could pull out of a meeting tentatively planned for the sidelines of a [G20] … Medvedev said last week that Russia could cancel diplomatic relations if … Putin wished. * * * Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has covertly supported pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s east in a conflict that, according to the United Nations, has cost nearly 10,000 lives. … Moody’s … said … flaring tensions between Russian and Ukraine threaten Russia’s incipient economic recovery and [have] a negative impact on Russia’s ratings.