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The idea for Sunday’s meeting was for Lavrov to present Russia’s responses to a U.S. proposal to de-escalate the tensions that covers Ukrainian political and constitutional reforms as well as the disarmament of irregular forces, international monitors to protect minority rights and direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, according to U.S. officials, who say it has backing of Ukraine’s government.
U.S. officials said Russia appeared to show some interest in the Ukrainian reform program, but Moscow’s insistence on a federated state left it unclear if they would support it.
Kerry and Lavrov have met several times in person and have spoken by phone almost daily since the crisis began but have not yet been able to agree on a way forward. The pair met last week in The Hague, where Kerry presented Lavrov with the proposal, which was a response to ideas Lavrov gave him at a March 14 meeting in London.
Associated Press writer Angela Charlton contributed to this report.
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