International leaders meet in Paris to diffuse tensions in Crimea
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - 01:38
March 5 - British Foreign Secretary William Hague says bringing Russia and Ukraine together for talks is key in resolving crisis in Crimea. Nathan Frandino reports.
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As Ukrainian pilots flee an airbase in Crimea, international leaders are scrambling to defuse the tensions.
In Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and the acting Ukrainian Foreign Ministry delegation.
The Russians were absent from the meeting.
Hague hopes to bring the Russians to the table as soon as possible.
SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY WILLIAM HAGUE SAYING:
"Today, we are trying to use every diplomatic opportunity to bring Russia and Ukraine into direct contact with each other at a senior level to make sure the governments of Russia and Ukraine are talking to each other, which the Russians have not been prepared to do at a senior level in recent days. We will make further attempts at this, this afternoon."
Armed pro-Russia forces remain in control of parts of Crimea.
Russia has called them self-defense forces whose orders do not come from Moscow.
Now, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the west is trying to complicate its relationship with Russia.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING:
"Those of our western partners who are now meeting with Ukraine's Rada are trying to speculate on the relationship between Russia and the west and to complicate the relationship they are trying to catch something for themselves in these murky waters. I think this policy is not serious. I think that our western colleagues understand this game perfectly."
Russia maintains that Kiev's new interim government violated an earlier peace agreement with former President Viktor Yanukovich, a Moscow ally.
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