British minister to meet with Ukrainian leaders

FILE - This is a Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 file photo of British Foreign Secretary William Hague as he pauses during a discussion on ending sexual violence and conflict in war, with Secretary of State John Kerry, at the State Department in Washington. Hague said Sunday March 2, 2014 that he is traveling to Kiev because he wants to meet personally with Ukraine's new leaders to discuss ways to defuse the crisis. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

LONDON (AP) — British Foreign Secretary William Hague travelled to Ukraine's capital Sunday to meet with the country's new leaders to discuss ways to defuse the crisis.

Hague said before his departure that he was extremely concerned by the escalation. He said Ukrainian officials have told him by telephone that they won't respond to Russian provocations and he advised them to "continue with that course."

He said Britain will continue to advise Russia to speak directly to Ukraine's leaders through ministerial and military channels. He also said he will discuss with the Ukrainians the need to represent all of the country and to make sure upcoming elections are fair.

Hague said Britain will pull out of planned preparatory talks for the upcoming G-8 summit in Russia in protest. Prime Minister David Cameron said on Twitter Sunday evening that he and Hague had decided British ministers should not attend the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, because of the crisis.