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Top American and Russian diplomats plan meeting to discuss Ukraine

 WASHINGTON —   Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet Sunday evening in Paris for discussions stemming from the crisis caused by Russia's recent annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The high-ranking diplomats will meet to discuss the U.S. response to a "working document" they have been putting together in an attempt to avert a serious confrontation,  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The Paris session was announced after President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Friday during a phone conversation that the diplomats should meet to discuss means of de-escalating the crisis.

Lavrov said Saturday in a television interview that Russia has "absolutely no intention or interest in crossing the borders of Ukraine."

However, he said that Russia "will protect the rights of Russians and Russian speakers in Ukraine employing the entire arsenal of political, diplomatic and legal methods."

Richter reported from Washington and Loiko from Moscow.


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