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Putin to cancel request to use force in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the country's parliament to cancel a resolution authorizing the use of military force in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko heralded the move as the first practical step toward peace.

Russia's presidential office made the announcement on Tuesday. The country's upper house of parliament passed the resolution in March. If the resolution is cancelled, Russia would lose the legal basis for a military intervention in Ukraine.

The announcement came one day after pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said they would respect a ceasefire declared by Poroshenko.

Western nations have repeatedly urged Russia to help de-escalate the crisis in eastern Ukraine, while suggesting that further sanctions are possible.

Observers say Russia aims to ease the tensions ahead of this week's meeting of NATO foreign ministers and a summit of the European Union.

Jun. 24, 2014 - Updated 20:57 UTC