Ukraine crisis: Kerry rejects Putin meeting

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State John Kerry has rejected an offer of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin until Moscow engages with US proposals to tackle the crisis in Ukraine.

Mr Kerry told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that Moscow's military intervention in Crimea had made any negotiations extremely difficult.

US officials say there will be little to talk about if the referendum on Crimea's future goes ahead.

The referendum is to be held on Sunday.

Ukraine and the the West say that the vote is illegal.

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