Four-plus hours of “frank” closed-door negotiations between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ended today with no deal, and the only agreement was that the two sides really want to reach some sort of agreement.
The issues are the same as ever, with the US demanding Russia withdraw from the Crimea, and insisting the protester-installed interim government is the “legitimate government” of Ukraine.
Russia, by contrast, insists the violent protests were tantamount to a coup, and its a ridiculous double standard to accept the process as legitimate while insisting the Crimean referendum on secession was not.
Lavrov, by contrast, doesn’t see Crimea as something to be discussed at all anymore, and instead urged wholesale changes to the Ukrainian constitution, insisting the east-west divide in the nation means it simply can’t function as a “unified” state anymore, and should reimagine itself as a loose federation of regions with more autonomy.
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