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Ukraine warily begins talks on ending crisis _ but its pro-Russia foes aren't invited

Wednesday - 5/14/2014, 11:00pm  ET

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- European-backed peace talks on ending Ukraine's crisis have begun in Kiev, but are showing little promise of success.

A "road map" put forth by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe calls for national dialogue as a first step toward resolving the escalating tensions, in which the insurgents have seized government buildings in eastern Ukraine and declared independence, while government forces have mounted limited offensives to retake control of the region.

In opening remarks, Ukraine's acting president says Kiev is "ready for a dialogue" but insists the government will not talk to pro-Russia gunmen.

A leader of the insurgency in the city of Donetsk says his faction hasn't been invited and will only participate if the Kiev government recognizes their sovereignty.

Wednesday's talks lasted 2 1/2 hours and ended inconclusively, with only a vague plan to meet again in a few days.

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APPHOTO XAZ120: Denis Pushilin, foreground, a leader of the insurgency that has declared an independent "People's Republic" in the Donetsk region, enters a hall for at a news conference in eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk on Wednesday May 14, 2014. Pushilin said his faction wasn't invited to government-organized roundtable talks in Kiev. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (14 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XAZ118: Denis Pushilin, center, a leader of the insurgency that has declared an independent "people's republic" in the Donetsk region, speaks at a news conference in eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk on Wednesday May 14, 2014. Pushilin said his faction wasn't invited to a government-organized roundtable talks in Kiev. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (14 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XAZ124: Two armed pro-Russians walk towards a seized military track with a mortar atop that was set alight during fighting between pro-Russian militants and government troops at Oktyabrskoye village, about 20 km (12 miles) from Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. At list six servicemen were ambushed and killed and eight others wounded Tuesday afternoon outside the town of Kramatorsk, Ukrainian defense ministry said. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (14 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XAZ112: A Ukrainian government soldier guards a checkpoint near Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The Ukrainian government reluctantly agreed to launch talks on decentralizing power Wednesday as part of a European-backed peace plan, but did not invite its main foes, the pro-Russia insurgents who have declared independence in the east. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (14 May 2014)

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