March 30 - After meeting with his Russian counterpart in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both sides discussed ways to ''de-escalate the security and political situation in and around Ukraine.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said late on Sunday he and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, discussed suggestions for de-escalating the Ukraine crisis during four hours of talks in Paris. "Both sides made suggestions on ways to de-escalate the security and political situation in and around Ukraine," Kerry said of their meeting. "The United States is consulting with Ukraine at every step of this process. And we will not accept a path forward where the legitimate government of Ukraine is not at the table. This principle is clear: No decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine," the secretary went on to say. Kerry also said that the United States made clear it still considered Russian actions in Crimea to be "illegal and illegitimate." He said he had also raised "strong concerns" about the presence of Russian troops on the Ukraine border, which he said created a climate of fear and intimidation.