Russia says has no plans to invade eastern Ukraine

by Reuters
Friday, 14 March 2014 16:06 GMT

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - Russia has no plans to invade southeastern Ukraine but the Kremlin will respect the result of the upcoming referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

Speaking after several hours of talks in London with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Lavrov there was still no common vision with the West over Ukraine and that Russia needed no international structure to help it mediate with Kiev.

"We will respect the expression of the will of the Crimean people in in the upcoming referendum," Lavrov told reporters at a briefing at the residency of the Russian Ambassador to London.

"The Russian Federation does not and cannot have any plans to invade the southeastern regions of Ukraine," Lavrov said. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov, writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Steven Gutterman, editing by Stephen Addison)

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