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Ukraine crisis stirs Kerry-Lavrov tensions

US Secretary of State John Kerry, pictured during a meeting in Rome, on March 6, 2014Russian-US tensions over Ukraine exploded into a public row, as Secretary of State John Kerry refused to attend talks in Moscow after his counterpart snubbed Kiev’s interim leaders. Russia’s wily foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, came out swinging first, putting the much-travelled Kerry on the spot by denouncing him for turning down an invitation to meet on Moscow on Monday. But US officials hit back that the time was not right for Kerry to visit Moscow as there was no sign that President Vladimir Putin was prepared to negotiate, or that Lavrov was authorized to lead any talks.

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