Following yesterday’s Paris talks, Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov again today in Rome. Lavrov says the meeting didn’t end with any agreement or real progress.
Lavrov was also harshly critical of US threats of sanctions and other punitive measures, calling them “unconstructive.” He said Kerry tried to downplay the moves, including today’s travel ban order, assuring Lavrov that no one is actually on the list of banned travelers yet.
Lavrov went on to say that the travel ban’s existence, even if it doesn’t cover anybody yet, was a major sticking point on Russia making any deal with them.
Ultimately, Kerry is still pushing the Paris demands for Russia to agree to recognize the newly installed interim government in the Ukraine and enter into direct negotiations with them on ending secession efforts in the Crimea. Lavrov said he would report on the demands to President Putin, though it so far seems unlikely any deal will be reached.