London (AP) - The top diplomats from Russia and the United States aren't voicing much hope of negotiating an immediate end to the crisis in Ukraine.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have been meeting in London, where they each said they're glad to have the meeting before Sunday's referendum in Crimea. But there are no signs they will prevent that region from voting Sunday to break off from the rest of Ukraine to join Russia.
The United States and the E.U. say the vote violates Ukraine's constitution and international law. Russia has said it will respect the results.
Before meeting with Kerry, Lavrov told reporters, "This is a difficult situation we are in." Kerry, meanwhile, said he hoped to find "possibilities" about how to "resolve some of the differences between us.
"European and U.S. leaders have repeatedly urged Moscow to pull back its troops in Crimea and stop encouraging local militias there.