John Kerry meets Sergei Lavrov as Crimean vote looms

John Kerry

Newscast Media LONDON—Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov are holding talks in London on the Ukraine crisis.

Kerry, who has warned that the West would take “very serious steps” if Russia goes
ahead with the annexation of Crimea, said before the meeting the two would discuss
how best to smooth over their differences.

“Obviously, we have a lot to talk about. I look forward to an opportunity to dig into
the issues and possibilities that we may be able to find about how to move forward
together to resolve some of the differences between us,” Kerry said.

Kerry was expected to tell Lavrov that Russia risks concerted international sanctions
because of the March 16 referendum on Crimea joining Russia.

Lavrov told reporters in London that precious time has been wasted in resolving the
crisis: “I am also satisfied to have this meeting today. This is a difficult situation we
are in. Many events have happened and a lot of time has been lost, so now we have
to see what can be done.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that overnight violence in
eastern Ukraine demonstrates that authorities in Kiev are losing control and that
Russia reserves the right to protect its citizens.

Source: Radio Free Europe