March 5 - High-level diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine made little apparent headway in Paris, although US, France and Ukraine voice hope for continued talks. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
High-level diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine made little apparent headway at talks in Paris on Wednesday. Moscow and Washington were at odds and Russia's foreign minister is refusing to recognize his Ukrainian counterpart. But French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius sounded an optimistic note (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER, LAURENT FABIUS, SAYING: "We have agreed to try and find in the coming days, a peaceful solution that will allow us to exit this crisis. We are going to continue to discuss this tomorrow and in the coming days. But it is from this meeting in Paris that things have begun to move in the right direction. Thank you." This view was echoed by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UKRAINE FOREIGN MINISTER, ANDRIY DESHCHYTSIA, SAYING: "We believe that we will come to some positive outcome. I am on my way to Brussels to meet the prime minister and discuss with him the further steps. Thank you." Secretary of State John Kerry says all parties can find a common cause (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY, SAYING: "We agreed to continue intense discussions in the coming days with Russia, with Ukrainians in order to see how we can help normalize the situation, stabilize it and overcome the crisis, and those intentions are intentions that are shared exactly as I have described them between Russia, the United States, the European countries and Ukrainians who were here. All parties agreed today that it was important to try to resolve these issues through dialogue." France says EU leaders meeting in Brussels Thursday could decide on sanctions against Russia if there is no "de-escalation" by then.