Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine faced their first test in Paris on Wednesday.
The Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers met separately with US Secretary of State John Kerry and French, British, German and EU counterparts on the sidelines of an international meeting on Lebanon.
“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,” said John Kerry speaking at a press conference after intense discussions. He added, “All parties agreed today that it is important to try to resolve these issues through dialogue”
There had been hopes that the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers would meet – this didn’t materialise.
However, Kerry will meet again with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and EU Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton later on Thursday in Rome.