World News

Kerry, Lavrov to Discuss Ukraine in Late-Night Meeting

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are to meet late Sunday in Paris to discuss a solution for Ukraine.

Kerry and Lavrov are to meet at the residence of the Russian ambassador in Paris to follow up on a phone call late Friday between President Obama and President Putin about the need for a diplomatic solution, following Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

In recent days the concentration of Russian troops, tanks and warships near Ukraine's borders has expanded considerably, but Lavrov, told state television Saturday his country has no intention of sending these forces into Ukraine.

He said he believes the only way to achieve stability in Ukraine, where millions of Russian speakers live in the eastern regions, is to have a federal agreement giving the regional governments more autonomy.



Kerry had been heading back to Washington from Saudi Arabia, where President Obama met with King Abdullah Friday, when he learned of Lavrov's comments. The secretary's plane changed course during a refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland, and headed for Paris.

Ukraine's immediate neighbors - former Soviet republics that broke away from Moscow more than 20 years ago - and the Kremlin's former allies in Eastern Europe have strongly denounced Russia's pressure on Ukraine, and their views have been echoed throughout Western Europe. The U.N. General Assembly also voted overwhelmingly to oppose Russia's annexation of Crimea earlier this month.

The United States and its European allies have begun imposing economic sanctions against Russia, and there have been preliminary indications that those moves are already affecting the Russian economy.

The United States and others also have been pressing Russia to allow international monitors into Crimea to provide assurances that the ethnic-Ukrainian population there is safe from reprisals by pro-Russian militias and local authorities.

U.S. officials estimate Russia has massed 40,000 troops close to Ukraine's borders. Ukrainian government officials contend the Russian buildup around their northern, eastern and southern borders is closer to 100,000 troops.

Relations between Moscow and Kyiv plummeted nearly a month ago, after Russian forces moved into Crimea. A short-notice referendum quickly followed, resulting in a vote to declare independence from Ukraine and an intention to join the Russian Federation.

Mr. Putin and the Russian parliament subsequently annexed Crimea, making it a separate part of the Russian state.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs