Lavrov warns Kerry that ‘reckless’ sanctions could come back to harm U.S.

BY Joshua Barajas and Justin Scuiletti  March 7, 2014 at 1:28 PM EDT

Updated March 7 at 1:30 p.m. EST | In a call with Secretary of State John Kerry Friday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned the United States against “hasty and reckless steps” that would damage relations between Russia and the U.S. According to a statement from the Russian foreign ministry, Lavrov added that U.S. sanctions on Russia would “hit the United States like a boomerang.”


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Video by Associated Press

Updated March 6 at 5:00 p.m. EST | The talks between Kerry and Lavrov’s ended with no agreement over the crisis in Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Quoted by the Interfax news agency, Lavrov also said that the United States’ move to authorize visa restrictions and financial sanctions against Russia was “unconstructive.”

Updated March 6 at 10:15 a.m. | U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday in a continued effort to diffuse tensions in Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Following an initial meeting in Paris on Wednesday, the two consulted in Rome while attending an international conference on Libya.

If Kerry decides to make a statement, the NewsHour will live stream the secretary’s remarks.

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Updated March 5 at 4:00 p.m. EST |

After meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other European counterparts in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said they all agreed to continue “intense discussions” over the coming days to reach a resolution in Ukraine.

In a news conference held Wednesday, Kerry said that the U.S. will not allow Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty to go “unanswered.”

“Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity has actually united the world in support of the Ukrainian people,” Kerry said.

“Russia made a choice, and we have clearly stated that we believe it is the wrong choice, that is the choice to move troops into Crimea.”

Kerry added that he had “zero expectation” that Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers would engage in talks in Paris today. Kerry is expected to meet with Lavrov again in Rome on Thursday.

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Russia did not attend a meeting in Paris on Wednesday morning to discuss the Budapest Memorandum that the U.S., UK, Ukraine and Russia signed in 1994, promising to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty after the country gave up what was the third largest nuclear arsenal.

Following the morning’s meeting, the State Department released a statement, saying that the U.S., U.K. and Ukraine have respected the treaty “with utmost seriousness, and expect Russia to as well,” adding that Russia has acted “unilaterally and militarily.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the unmarked troops seen in the Crimea peninsula are “local self-defense forces” and not Russian soldiers. He also said that it was not necessary to send Russian troops into Ukraine.

Andrii Deshchytsia, acting Ukranian foreign minister, and William Hague, British foreign secretary, met with Secretary of State John Kerry, noting the absence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who Kerry is expected to see later today at a scheduled bilateral meeting to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

Despite the missing signatory, Deshchytsia said that Ukraine would be willing to consult with Russia, “bilaterally and multilaterally.”