BRUSSELS (AFP) - Four-way talks between the United States and the European Union diplomats, Russia and Ukraine to defuse Europe's worst security crisis in decades look set to be held Thursday next week in Vienna, an EU diplomat said.
"Intense talks are taking place ahead of the four-way negotiations April 17 in Vienna," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"But a week is a long time," the diplomat added.
The meeting would be the first direct talks with Moscow and Kiev to resolve the East-West standoff.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's office on Tuesday confirmed she would meet US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Andriy Deshchytsya in a European capital.
Political turmoil in Ukraine is threatening to break up the vast nation on the European Union's eastern frontier and plunge Moscow's relations with the West to a low that may take decades to repair.