LONDON, March 14 (Xinhua) -- No major agreement was reached Friday at the U.S.-Russia talks on Ukraine in London, as both sides refused to back down from their previous stances towards the stalemate in Ukraine.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov held separate press conferences after their talks which lasted for about six hours in London.
Lavrov said Russia and the United States did not have a "common vision" on the crisis in Ukraine, while emphasizing that Russia will respect "the will of the people of Crimea" the results of the referendum in the region on Sunday.
While both sides described their talks as "constructive", major disagreements regarding Ukraine remain unresolved between the two countries.
At the press conference, Kerry said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "not prepared" to make any decision on Ukraine yet.
"After much discussion, Foreign Minister Lavrov made it clear that president Putin is not prepared to make any decision regarding Ukraine until after the referendum on Sunday," Kerry said.
Kerry said the United States and its allies "respect" Russia's legitimate interests in Ukraine, but insisted that there is "a better way" for Russia to pursue the interests.
"There are legitimate interests, historical, cultural...strategic. There are real interests. All of us, who are joined together in the EU and the extended contact group, understand that interests and we are prepared to respect them," he said.
Moreover, the U.S. official stressed that international and multilateral norms are needed to solve the Ukraine crisis.
Kerry reiterated that his country will not recognize the outcome of the referendum in Crimea, describing the upcoming vote as "illegitimate".
"The President (Obama) has made it clear that there will be consequences if Russia doesn't not find a way to change course," Kerry added.
Crimea, a Ukrainian autonomous republic, will hold a referendum Sunday over its future status.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday warned that the European Union (EU) will take "further measures" if the U.S.-Russia talks over Ukraine crisis in London make no progress.
UNITED NATIONS, March 14 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday that "it is clear that we are at a crossroads" in the Ukrainian crisis and "if positions continue to harden and rhetoric continues to sharpen, there is a great risk of a dangerous downward spiral."
Crimea, a Ukrainian autonomous republic, is to hold a referendum Sunday on whether to stay in Ukraine or join Russia. The Russian parliament has paved the way for Crimea to become part of Russia, but no decision has been made on annexation. Full story
KIEV, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Kiev is in talks with the United States and NATO over a possible military technical assistance, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said Friday.
"As for military assistance, we hold bilateral and multilateral consultations on technical support," Yatsenyuk said during a media briefing at the International Boryspil Airport after his visit to Washington. Full story