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Ukraine crisis leads to series of meetings

Saturday - 3/1/2014, 9:11pm  ET

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) -- NATO says the North Atlantic Council, the alliance's political decision-making body, and the NATO-Ukraine Commission will both hold meetings Sunday. NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen (AHN'-derz fohg RAHS'-moo-sihn) says the allies will "coordinate closely" on the situation in Ukraine, which he describes as "grave."

The U.N. Security Council met in an open, televised session on Saturday afternoon after closed-door consultations, despite initial objections from Russia to an open session. The council heard speeches from a U.N. deputy secretary-general and several ambassadors, but did not take any action.

Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.N. Yuriy Sergeyev asked the Security Council "to do everything possible now" to stop what he called Russian "aggression."

Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said the government in Kiev needs to get away from "radicals" and warned, "such actions they're taking could lead to very difficult developments, which the Russian Federation is trying to avoid."

Churkin also said Russia was intervening at the request of pro-Russian authorities in the autonomous Crimea region that is part of Ukraine.

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