Ukraine crisis: US secretary of state meets Russian foreign minister in Paris

US Secretary of State John Kerry (second right), Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov (third from left), French President Francois Hollande (second from left), French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (right) and German Foreign Minist
US Secretary of State John Kerry (second right), Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov (third from left), French President Francois Hollande (second from left), French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (right) and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walkter Steinmeier (left) at the Elysee presidential palace during the joint Meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, on March 5, 2014. Mr Kerry and Mr Lavrov on Wednesday held direct talks on Ukraine in Paris on the sidelines of an international meeting on Lebanon, a diplomatic source said. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday held direct talks on Ukraine in Paris on the sidelines of an international meeting on Lebanon, a diplomatic source said.

Mr Kerry and Mr Lavrov held discussions along with their German and French counterparts over coffee after lunch at the French presidential palace, an AFP journalist witnessed.

A Western diplomatic source said the talks centred around the crisis in Ukraine and lasted for several minutes.

It was the first time Mr Kerry and Mr Lavrov had met since a pro-Moscow government in Ukraine was ousted, prompting the de facto takeover of the Crimean peninsula by pro-Moscow forces.

Western governments are pressing Mr Lavrov to hold direct talks with the acting Ukrainian Foreign Minsiter during his time in Paris.