WASHINGTON – The top U.S. and Russian diplomats met Sunday evening in Paris amid hopes for a diplomatic solution to the
As U.S. officials continued to voice concern at the massing of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border, Secretary of State
Russia formally annexed the Russian-dominated Crimean peninsula on March 21, one month after the Ukrainian opposition toppled pro-Russian President
Following a brief meeting between Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Kerry met with Lavrov at the residence of Russia's ambassador to France.
Earlier Sunday, Lavrov insisted in a Russian television interview that Russia has "absolutely no intention of, or interest in, crossing Ukraine's borders."
But the two countries have very different goals. The Obama administration has proposed a disarming of private militias, the entry of international monitors to oversee treatment of minority groups, and direct Ukrainian-Russian talks. It is also demanding a pullback of Russian forces at the border.
Russia, which considers the interim Ukrainian government illegitimate, doesn't want direct talks with Kiev. It would like to see international negotiations to create a decentralized Ukrainian government that would give powerful leverage to Moscow and its ethnic Russian allies.
Administration officials first described Putin's Friday call as an encouraging development. But they grew more cautious after the Kremlin described the conversation in ways suggesting Moscow was not yet willing to give ground and might be laying the groundwork to move more troops into the breakaway Transnistria region of Moldova, on Ukraine's western border.
Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairman of the