Kerry, Lavrov Fail to Find Agreement on Crimea, Await Sunday's Vote

By  | 

LONDON (AP) Now that the top U.S. and Russian diplomats have failed to find common ground about Ukraine, all eyes are on the vote coming up Sunday in Crimea -- where residents will decide if they want to separate from Ukraine.

Crimea, which is now under the control of Russian-backed forces, has a majority Russian population. And it's expected to vote to leave Ukraine and join Russia.

Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking after today's talks in London, said if Russia ratifies that action, it would be the same as an "annexation" of Crimea. He says the U.S. and the rest of the world won't recognize such a vote.

Following today's six hours of talks with Kerry, Russia's foreign minister said Russian President Vladimir Putin won't make any decision about what to do with Crimea until after Sunday's vote.

The U.S. and EU say the Crimean vote violates Ukraine's constitution and international law. If Crimea votes to secede, the U.S. and European Union plan to slap sanctions as early as Monday on Russian officials and businesses accused of escalating the crisis and undermining Ukraine's new government.