Kerry Says Russia and Ukraine Willing to Keep Talking

Image: US Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a press conference held at the US Embassy in Kiev
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a press conference earlier this week.DIMITAR DILKOFF / AFP - Getty Images

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Secretary of State John Kerry met Wednesday with his counterparts from Russia and Ukraine and said that everyone agreed it was important to resolve the crisis in Ukraine through dialogue.

Speaking in Paris after the meetings, Kerry renewed his call for Russia to send its troops in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula back to their barracks, allow international monitors into the region and respect Ukraine’s borders.

“We agreed to continue intense discussions in the coming days with Russia, with Ukrainians, in order to see how we can help normalize the situation, stabilize it and overcome the crisis,” he said.

The German, French and British foreign ministers were also in the talks.

Kerry also called for the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers to talk one-on-one. They left the meetings in Paris without doing so. Kerry said that he had “zero expectation” that such a meeting would happen Wednesday.

Still, the secretary said there were “a number of ideas on the table” to resolve the tension. He said he was encouraged by Russia’s willingness to keep talking.

“That’s the beginning of a negotiation,” he said. “But our position has not changed one bit.”

— Erin McClam