Kerry set to see Russian FM on Ukraine

2014-03-30 18:09
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at the US Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. (Kevin Lamarque, AP, Pool)

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at the US Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. (Kevin Lamarque, AP, Pool)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Paris Sunday preparing to meet with his Russian counterpart in another bid to calm tensions and resolve the crisis over Ukraine.

Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov planned to sit down later on Sunday at the residence of the Russian ambassador to France to go over Moscow's response to a US plan to de-escalate the situation as Russian troops continue to mass along the Ukrainian border.

US officials say the plan covers the disarmament of irregular forces, international monitors to protect minority rights, direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine and Ukrainian political and constitutional reforms.

Russian officials, including Lavrov, have been floating a federal framework for Ukraine in which different regions would enjoy wide autonomy from the central government. US officials have said they are open to considering such an idea but that it must be acceptable to the Ukrainian people.

Kerry and Lavrov have met several times in person and spoken by phone almost daily since the crisis began but have not yet been able to agree on a way forward. The pair met last week in The Hague, where Kerry presented Lavrov with the proposal, which was a response to ideas Lavrov gave him at a 10 March meeting in London.

Sunday's meeting follows an hourlong phone call Friday between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin in which Obama urged Putin to withdraw his troops from the border with Ukraine.

The Russian leader, who initiated the call, asserted that Ukraine's government is allowing extremists to intimidate ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking civilians with impunity - something Ukraine insists is not happening.

That call did little to reassure US officials that Russia is not planning to invade Ukraine after its annexation of the country's strategic Crimea peninsula that the west has condemned as illegal and a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The United States and Europe have imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials in response, sparking reciprocal moves from Moscow.

In an interview on Sunday with Russian television, Lavrov called the sanctions a "dead-end" strategy that would not achieve results and accused the west of hypocrisy. He said it was inconsistent for the west to refuse to recognise Crimea's annexation, which followed a referendum on joining Russia that was overwhelmingly approved, while at the same time accepting the new government in Kiev, which was formed after the pro-Moscow president fled the country.

"If they are willing to accept the first event as legitimate, then surely they are obliged to acknowledge the second," Lavrov told Russia's Channel One television.

The two sides remain far apart, a situation underscored by the fact that the White House and the Kremlin offered starkly different summaries of the Obama-Putin call, which occurred while Obama was travelling in Saudi Arabia.

The contrasting interpretations highlighted the chasm between how Moscow and Washington perceive the escalating international standoff sparked by Russia's annexation of Crimea.

White House officials described the call as "frank and direct" and said Obama had urged Putin to offer a written response to a diplomatic resolution to the Ukraine crisis that the US has presented.

He urged Moscow to scale back its troop buildup on the border with Ukraine, which has prompted concerns in Kiev and Washington about a possible Russian invasion in eastern Ukraine.

Russia maintains that its troops near the border are there for military exercises and that they have no plans to invade, but US and European officials say the numbers and locations of the troops suggest something more than exercises.

"We have absolutely no intention of, or interest in, crossing Ukraine's borders," Lavrov said.

The Kremlin, on the other hand, said Putin had drawn Obama's attention to a "rampage of extremists" in Ukraine and suggested "possible steps by the international community to help stabilise the situation" in Ukraine.

- AP
Read more on:    john kerry  |  sergey lavrov  |  russia  |  ukraine
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

“To infinity and beyond”….. As the Sun and the Moon move into Sagittarius you are able to let go of the emotional intensity of the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.