Russia won’t join Ukraine talks with ‘illegitimate government’

Russia won’t join Ukraine talks with ‘illegitimate government’

[Ed. – But, no worries, Kerry has an excuse.]

KIEV, Ukraine — Negotiations to end the crisis in Crimea foundered Wednesday over Russia’s refusal to recognize Ukraine’s new leaders much less sit down with its ambassador. …

Wednesday’s gathering of diplomats in Paris came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to calm fears of further military incursion by saying he has no intention to “fight the Ukrainian people.” Russian troops took over key points of Crimea after the parliament in Kiev ousted Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovych.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and several European diplomats met Wednesday to discuss whether there are peaceful ways to end Russia’s occupation of Crimea, a peninsula where many Russian-speaking people say they want more autonomy from Kiev.

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But Lavrov refused to meet with the Ukraine ambassador, saying he represents an “illegitimate” government.

“I don’t think any of us had an anticipation that we were coming here at this moment, in this atmosphere of heightened tension and
confrontation, that we were suddenly going to resolve that here, this afternoon,” Kerry said after talks ended for the day.

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