On Russian President Vladimir Putin's demand, the upper house of the Russian parliament on Wednesday canceled a resolution allowing the use of military in Ukraine, a move intended to show Moscow's eagerness to de-escalate tensions and avoid a new round of Western sanctions.
Putin had said his request, made a day earlier, was intended to help support the peace process in Ukraine, which began Friday with a weeklong cease-fire.
Putin needs to show his support for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's peace plan ahead of Friday's European Union summit to avoid further Western sanctions. The EU has warned it could introduce new sanctions that would target entire sectors of the Russian economy if Moscow fails to help de-escalate the crisis.
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