1. It all began innocently enough, with Secretary of State John Kerry boarding a plane for London Thursday night to discuss the crisis in Ukraine with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
2. They both looked happy to be there.
The talks come two days before Crimea is set to hold a referendum, orchestrated by Russia, to approve its secession from Ukraine, following the country’s revolution.
3. Earlier in the day, Lavrov had met his British counterpart, William Hague. He even made him a cup of coffee.
4. Lavrov and Kerry, on the other hand, decided to take it outside, to the garden of the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London.
5. Then this happened, tweeted by the Russian foreign ministry’s official account.
6. Luckily, they did come back.
8. The talks have now stretched into their fourth hour.
9. The talks come as U.S.-Russia relations have plunged to new post-Cold War lows.
The U.S. and Russia have threatened tit-for-tat sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine. The U.S. has urged a diplomatic solution over Crimea, which de facto separated from Ukraine once Russian troops poured in late last month. Attention has now turned to the east of the country, which has become increasingly unstable, amid reports of Russian troop buildup near its border with Ukraine. There was no word yet on what, if anything, Lavrov and Kerry agreed in their talks.
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