People pass by an exchange rate display at a street in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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Russia Monday called on Ukraine to halt its military offensive against pro-Moscow rebels in the east, saying the insurgent leaders had enough "authority" to hold talks with Kiev.Deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin made the appeal after Moscow recognized separatist elections in two eastern Ukraine regions dismissed as illegal by Kiev and the West.Russia has endorsed the rebels' Sunday elections held in the Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.Russia risks a new round of Western sanctions over the contentious vote, but Karasin appeared to dismiss that threat.
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