Preventing Conflict

(NBC News) – There’s word three pro-Russian militants were killed when they tried to attack a Ukrainian National Guard base. More violence, as diplomacy gets underway in Switzerland this morning.

This morning as Secretary of State John Kerry brings Russia and Ukraine together in Geneva, NATO is stepping up patrols in the region. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water, ” said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

NATO says it is backup – to prevent, not create conflict. “We specifically designed these measures to assure our allies only and to be clearly seen as defensive in nature,” said NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Philip Breedlove.

Ukraine announced an anti-terror crackdown and within 24 hours, pro-Russian militias seized ammunition and armored tanks.

They’ve taken over parts of 10 cities.

The U.S. thinks Russia is behind it and is looking at new sanctions despite today’s effort at diplomacy. “This is not the whole game; this is one part of it, and talk doesn’t replace actions,” said State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf.

The White House hasn’t said what those actions might be.

But expectations for today’s meetings aren’t high, so officials say those sanctions could be announced as soon as tomorrow.

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