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May 14, 2014 AT 6:00 AM
The Ukrainian government launched talks Wednesday on decentralizing power 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. That deliberate oversight left it unclear what the negotiations might accomplish. In his opening remarks, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said authorities were "ready for a dialogue" but insisted they will not talk to the separatists who have seized buildings and fought government troops across eastern Ukraine. Turchynov chaired the first in a series of round tables with spiritual leaders, lawmakers, government figures and regional officials as part of a peace plan drafted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a security group that also includes Russia and the United States.