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*Russia eyes gas pipeline, railway via North Korea to South Korea. MOSCOW, April 19- Russia's parliament has agreed to write off almost $10 billion of North Korea's Soviet-era debt, in a deal expected to facilitate the building of a gas pipeline to South Korea across the reclusive state.
A day after a deal to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists vowed not to end their occupation of public buildings and Washington threatened further sanctions on Moscow if the stalemate continued.
*Deal in Geneva offers hope of end to Ukraine crisis. *Russia sought assurances on rights for east Ukraine. WASHINGTON/ GENEVA, April 18- The agreement designed to pull Ukraine back from the brink of civil war had been floundering around lunchtime on Thursday, so U.S.
*Four-way talks end with call for end to Ukraine violence. SLAVIANSK/DONETSK, Ukraine, April 18- Armed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Friday they were not bound by an international deal ordering them to disarm and would not move out of public buildings they have seized until the Kiev government stepped down.
*Four-way talks end with call for end to Ukraine violence. KIEV/ SLAVIANSK, Ukraine April 18- Armed pro-Russian separatists were still holding public buildings in eastern Ukraine on Friday, saying they needed more assurances about their security before they comply with an international deal ordering them to disarm.
ANKARA, April 18- Turkey will seek a discount in the price of gas it buys from Russia in talks with the deputy head of state-controlled Gazprom next week when he visits Ankara, Turkey's energy minister said on Friday.
Vice President Joe Biden on topics including the situation in Ukraine and trade negotiations, an Obama administration official said.
Foreign ministers meeting in Geneva agreed "initial concrete steps" to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, they said in a joint statement.
President Obama answers questions about the state of Ukraine and Russia's diplomatic handling of the crisis.
As tension persists between Russia and Ukraine, markets' view on Russian bonds has turned increasingly icy.
*Four-way talks end with call for end to Ukraine violence. GENEVA/ MOSCOW, April 17- The United States, Russia, Ukraine and European Union together called on Thursday for an immediate halt to violence in Ukraine, where Western powers believe Russia is fomenting a pro-Russian separatist movement.
American oil companies are telling our U.S. state department they don't want a full-scale financial sanctions war, explains CNBC's Larry Kudlow. He makes the case for raising the value of the U.S. Dollar by 15 percent which he says will kill the price of oil.
BRUSSELS, April 17- NATO is sending part of its naval rapid reaction force to the Baltic Sea as part of a drive to step up the defence of eastern European allies in response to the crisis in Ukraine, the military alliance said on Thursday.
CNBC's Steve Sedgwick provides an update from Geneva, where Ukraine talks are taking place.
Russia has dug itself a deep economic hole in exchange for its geopolitical ambitions, and the problem's getting worse.
Secretary of State John Kerry comments after a meeting in Geneva with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and representatives of the EU and Ukraine.
WASHINGTON, April 17- The United States said on Thursday it would send Ukraine's armed forces medical supplies, sleeping mats and other non-lethal aid, seeking to signal support for Kiev while stopping far short of adding any U.S. weaponry to a deepening standoff with Russia.
The head of a leading Russian hypermarket chain has shrugged off the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and signaled willingness to open a store in Crimea.
Jan Dunning, CEO of St Petersburg-headquartered hypermarket chain Lenta, says the situation in Ukraine has had no impact on the group, as consumer confidence remains unaffected in Russia.
Alan Mendoza, executive director at the Henry Jackson Society, and Simon Ballard, head of credit strategy at National Australia Bank, discuss the crisis in Ukraine and the impact on markets.