'Difficult situation' says Lavrov before Kerry Ukraine talks

14th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov admitted Friday the crisis over Crimea was "a difficult situation" as he began 11th-hour talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in London.

With just two days to go until a referendum in the Ukrainian region that the West fears will lead to it being annexed by Russia, Lavrov said: "This is a difficult situation we are in. Many events have happened and a lot of time has been lost."

Kerry said he hoped he and his Russian counterpart could "resolve some of our differences" and find ways of moving forward.

Minutes before the talks started, Russia said it reserved the right to protect its compatriots in the whole of Ukraine after a protester was killed in fresh clashes in the east of the country.

The statement appeared to be a hint that Russia may move its forces beyond Crimea.

© 2014 AFP

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