U.S. And Russia In New Diplomatic Push Over Ukraine

Foreign ministers for each nation will meet in Paris on Sunday to discuss the issue, two days after Presidents Obama and Putin spoke via telephone.
Posted at 7:37 AM, Mar 30, 2014

The U.S. and Russia are in a new diplomatic push to resolve the global crisis over Ukraine. (Via U.S. Department of State)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris on Sunday to discuss the issue. And Lavrov says both sides have begun to narrow their differences. (Via  ITN)

For the last couple weeks, Europe and the U.S. have feared Russia might go even further than its occupation of Crimea, a southeast region of Ukraine. Russian troops along Ukraine's east border suggested another possible invasion.

But the last week has seen lines of communication between Russia and the West re-opened. Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned President Barack Obama on Friday. (Via The White House / Pete Souza)

It's unclear if that's connected to the West's effort to isolate Russia. Last week, the G8 became the G7, as the group excluded Russia and held up harsh economic sanctions against the country. (Via CNN)

Russia has been squarely in control of the Crimean peninsula for weeks now. Putin considers is officially annexed, despite an outcry from Europe and the U.S. that the land was taken illegally. (Via BBC)

On the Ukrainian mainland, a new set of political leaders are looking to restore some sense of order. Vitali Klitschko, one of the men who led the effort against former President Viktor Yanukovych, said Saturday he would step aside in Ukraine's upcoming presidential election to support billionaire Petro Poroshenko. Klitschko did, however, say he would run for mayor of Kiev, in hopes of making the city a “truly European capital.” (Via The Telegraph, The New York Times)

Poroshenko also supports closer ties with Europe. Ukraine's presidential election is set for May 25.