US, Russia talks fail to end Ukraine deadlock

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Associated Press

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 31 at 12:34 AM

PARIS (AP) — The United States and Russia agree the crisis in Ukraine requires a diplomatic resolution. But four hours of talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Paris on Sunday failed to break a tense East-West deadlock over how to proceed.

The two diplomats advanced far- different proposals on how to calm tensions and de-escalate the situation, particularly as Russia continues to mass troops along its border with the former Soviet republic.

Kerry said the troop buildup is creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine and is not helpful and called on Moscow to begin an immediate troop pullback.

He also ruled out discussion of Russia's demand for Ukraine to become a loose federation until-and-unless Ukrainians are at the table.

Kerry and Lavrov will continue their consultations at a distance. The two have met several times in person and have spoken by phone almost daily since the crisis began.

Kerry is expected to travel to Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

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