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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday March 5, 2014, CMC – The 15-member regional integration grouping, CARICOM< Wednesday said it was ‘deeply concerned” at the ongoing political developments in Ukraine and called for an end to the tensions to prevent possible bloodshed.

“The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is deeply concerned by the recent developments in Ukraine and calls on all parties involved, to act with self-restraint and responsibility in order to reduce tensions and avoid destabilisation in that region,” the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said in a statement.

It said CARICOM “supports the people of Ukraine in their efforts to settle their differences peacefully, and calls for the respect of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“In this regard, the Community also calls for the use of international mediation and/or negotiations, to address security and human rights concerns in Ukraine, under the auspices of the United Nations.

“The Caribbean Community will continue to monitor developments within Ukraine and hopes for peace and calm as political and economic stability are restored within that country.”

The United States and Russia are expected to hold talks on easing East-West tension over Ukraine on Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet face-to-face for the first time since the crisis escalated, after a conference in Paris attended by all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

NATO and Russia will hold parallel talks in Brussels amid concerns that a standoff between Russian and Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea could still spark violence, or that Moscow could also intervene in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday defended Russia’s actions in Crimea, a strategic Black Sea peninsula that is part of Ukraine but used to be Russian territory, and said he would use force only as a last resort.

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