Kerry, Lavrov meet in UK to defuse tensions over Crimea
Friday, March 14, 2014 - 01:42
March 14 - Efforts to defuse tensions between Russia and the West over Crimea and its upcoming referendum are ongoing with meetings taking place in London. Nathan Frandino reports.
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Military trucks - some pulling heavy artillery - are on the move in Crimea.
Witnesses reported seeing about 100 armored personnel trucks driving through Kerch, a primary entry to the Crimean peninsula from Russia.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are meeting in London.
They're trying to defuse tension ahead of a referendum that will decide whether the Russian-majority Crimea will leave Ukraine and join Russia.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY, SAYING:
"Obviously we have a lot to talk about. I look forward to the opportunity to dig into the issues and possibilities that we may be able to find on how to move forward together to resolve some of the differences between us and I look forward to a good conversation."
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING:
"I would also like to say that I'm pleased that we have an opportunity to meet today. The situation is indeed difficult. A lot of developments have happened. A lot of time has been lost. We have to see what can be done."
Kerry has warned Russia of sanctions against Russia if the referendum proceeds.
Earlier in the day, Kerry also met with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who reaffirmed his country's support of dialogue between Russia and the Ukraine.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON, SAYING:
"I think the alignment of Britain and the European Union with the position that the U.S. is taking is absolutely right. We must keep at them."
The referendum in Crimea is scheduled for March 16.
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