After hours of talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday it seems the two countries are no closer to reaching an agreement on how to resolve the situation in Ukraine.
Lavrov said sanctions against Russia would be “counterproductive”.
“Crimea is really an issue that cannot be considered separately from the course of history,” he said. Irrespective of whether there are precedents or not – and as a matter of fact there are – everybody understands, and I say it with full responsibility, that Crimea for Russia means immeasurably more than, say, the Comoros for France or the Falklands for Great Britain.”
Kerry maintained that Sunday’s planned referendum in Crimea is illegitimate and said Russia would face “consequences” if it “doesn’t find a way to change course”.
He told the press:
“We hope President Putin will recognise that none of what we’re saying is meant as a threat, it’s not personal, it’s meant as a matter of respect for the international, multi-lateral structure that we have lived by since World War II, and for the standards of behaviour about annexation, about secession, about independence and how countries come about it.”