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US warns Russia against 'grave mistake' in Ukraine, offers aid and nudges Georgia toward West

Wednesday - 2/26/2014, 9:20pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States is warning Russia against a military intervention in Ukraine.

Secretary of State John Kerry says such a move would be a "grave mistake." Kerry made the comments as Moscow put troops in western Russia on high alert for massive new war games in the area, including near the Russian-Ukrainian border.

Kerry also announced that the Obama administration was planning $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine and would consider additional direct assistance following unrest that led to the ouster of its Russian-backed president.

Kerry also renewed U.S. demands that Moscow withdraw troops from disputed enclaves in another former Soviet republic, Georgia, and urged Georgia to further integrate with Europe and NATO.

Kerry insists that U.S. policy toward the former Soviet states is not aimed at reducing Russia's influence in its neighborhood, but rather driven by a desire to see their people realize aspirations for freedom, democracy and economic well-being.

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223-v-35-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)--The Obama administration is offering Ukraine financial help -- even as it warns Russia not to intervene there after the ouster of Kiev's pro-Moscow president. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (26 Feb 2014)

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224-c-18-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"Russian backed president"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports the U.S. is poised to offer financial aid to help get Ukraine back on its feet. (26 Feb 2014)

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225-c-24-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"in Rocky IV"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports Secretary of State John Kerry has been warning Russia not to intervene militarily in Ukraine. (26 Feb 2014)

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