SOCHI, Russia, March 10 Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov told President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Russia's
position on Ukraine was at odds with the West, and that U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry had declined an invitation to
visit Russia for further talks.
At a meeting with Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi,
Lavrov described being handed proposals by U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry which "did not completely satisfy us".
"It is all being formulated as if there was a conflict
between Russia and Ukraine ... and our partners suggested using
the situation created by a coup as a starting point," he told
Putin, adding that the West wanted Russia and the United States
to bring their positions together.
Russia says any solution to the standoff over Ukraine should
be based on an EU-brokered agreement signed by ousted President
Viktor Yanukovich on Feb. 21, which would see constitutional
reform and elections by December.
"Along with the Security Council of Russian Federation, we
prepared our own proposals aimed at returning the situation into
the framework of international law, to honour the interests of
all Ukrainians, given the deep governmental crisis in Ukraine,"
When Putin asked his foreign minister to report on his
contacts with EU and U.S. officials, Lavrov said he had invited
Kerry for talks in Russia on Monday on the president's
instructions. He said Kerry had called back on Saturday to say
he wanted to postpone such a meeting.