London - The United States and Russia will find it formidably difficult to make progress on Ukraine at talks in London today, British Foreign Minister William Hague said on Friday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are meeting in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to defuse tension between Moscow and the West as a referendum in Crimea, a Russian-majority region of Ukraine, looks set to proceed on Sunday.

“The fact that so far Russia hasn't taken any actual action to de-escalate tensions makes this a formidably difficult task today,” Hague said. - Reuters