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West readies sanctions on Russia after Crimea vote

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LONDON — The top diplomats for Russia and the U.S. voiced pessimism today about negotiating an immediate end to the crisis in Ukraine, whose strategic Crimea region is voting this weekend about whether to secede.

Headed into a meeting in London, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov each said they were glad to talk before the Sunday referendum in Crimea. The vote on the strategic Black Sea peninsula of 2 million people is widely expected to back secession and, potentially, annexation with Russia.

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