Following a phone call Friday night from Russian President Vladimir Putin to President Obama, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is now heading to Paris where he will meet his Russian counterpart to discuss a possible "diplomatic resolution" to the Ukraine crisis.
“Secretary Kerry will travel from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Paris, France today in advance of a to-be-scheduled meeting with Russian foreign minister Lavrov early next week in Europe," State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said on Saturday.
The move follows a series of phone calls—first from Putin to Obama then between Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Kerry—seemingly easing the tensions between the world powers. The two could meet as early as Sunday.
Reports on Friday of a Russian troop buildup on the Ukraine border raised fears over an imminent military action, but were denied by the Russian foreign ministry.
On Friday, the White House published a readout of the call between Obama and Putin:
President Putin called President Obama today to discuss the US proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, which Secretary Kerry had again presented to Foreign Minister Lavrov at the meeting at the Hague earlier this week … the presidents agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss next steps.
On Saturday, Lavrov, said on Russian television that Russia has "absolutely no intention of – or interest in – crossing Ukraine's borders."