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Ukraine crisis: US, Russia talks end in failure

Published on Mar 15, 2014 3:18 AM

LONDON (AFP) - Top Russian and US diplomats utterly failed Friday to defuse the crisis over Ukraine, ending up at loggerheads following tense talks over the worst East-West clash since the Cold War.

After six hours of talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry, US officials said they "did not find common ground" and everything now depended on Russian President Vladimir Putin's reaction to Sunday's breakaway vote in Crimea.

Despite flying in early Friday from Washington for crisis talks only two days before Crimea is to decide whether to split away from Ukraine, Mr Kerry acknowledged that his mad dash to London had been in vain.

Mr Lavrov "made it clear that President Putin is not prepared to make any decision regarding Ukraine until after the referendum on Sunday," Mr Kerry told reporters after their talks.

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