18:30 GMT - WE ARE NOW CLOSING THIS LIVE REPORT after Russia, Ukraine, the US and EU reached a surprise deal to de-escalate the worsening crisis. The four parties agree to "restore security for all citizens", including a call to disband armed groups that have taken over buildings in Ukraine "illegally". While not spelt out in the agreement, these groups could refer to pro-Kremlin separatists who have seized control of government buildings and taken over parts of Ukraine's southeast, destabilising the country. Washington and Kiev have accused Russia of supporting the militants who have occupied buildings such as police stations and government bases, but Moscow has always categorically denied this.
Russia, Ukraine, the US and EU reached a surprise deal Thursday on de-escalating the worsening Ukrainian crisis, in a ray of hope for the former Soviet republic that has plunged into chaos. The agreement reached in Geneva comes as a strong contrast to earlier hawkish comments made by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who left the door open for intervention in Ukraine. A ban by Kiev on all Russian males aged 16 to 60 from entering Ukrainian territory had also ratcheted up the tensions, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calling the measure "disgusting". But after half a day of talks, the four parties agreed on steps to "restore security for all citizens", including a call to disband armed groups that have taken over buildings in Ukraine "illegally".