Lavrov and Kerry talk on Ukraine crisis: Russian ministry
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday spoke by telephone to his counterpart in the United States, John Kerry, about the situation in Ukraine, the foreign ministry in Moscow said.
During the call, initiated by Kerry, the two men agreed "to continue intensive contact with the aim of settling the crisis in Ukraine," the ministry said in a brief statement.
It gave no further details.
The call came around 24 hours after Lavrov warned Kerry against the United States taking "hasty" actions against Russia, saying they could harm the relationship and "boomerang" on the US.
Washington has already imposed visa bans and set the stage for wider sanctions against Russia over the seizure of the Ukrainian region of Crimea by pro-Russia forces.
Separately, US President Barack Obama and France's Francois Hollande spoke by telephone and warned of "new measures" against Russia if it fails to move on defusing the crisis in Ukraine, the French presidency said.
Hollande and Obama insisted on the "need for Russia to withdraw forces sent to Crimea since the end of February and to do everything to allow the deployment of international observers," it said.
"If there's a lack progress in this direction, new measures will be taken which would noticeably affect relations between the international community and Russia, which is in no-one's interest," it said.
The months-long crisis in Ukraine, which resulted in the ouster last month of Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych, has worsened since the Crimean parliament's decision Thursday to secede from Ukraine and stage a March 16 regional referendum on joining Russia.
© 2014 AFP