MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Football Union plans to attend UEFA and FIFA-mediated talks next month aimed at resolving a dispute with Ukraine over the clubs in Crimea.
Three clubs from Crimea, a region in Ukraine annexed by Russia in March, debuted in Russian league and cup competitions this month. UEFA has refused to recognize any matches they play, but stopped short of issuing sanctions against Russia, the 2018 World Cup host.
RFU president Nikolai Tolstykh told Russian media that talks with the Football Federation of Ukraine on the issue would be held Sept. 18 at UEFA headquarters.
"The agenda of the meeting will concern the situation regarding clubs from Crimea and Sevastopol competing in the Russian championship," Tolstykh told the R-Sport news agency.
However, FFU spokesman Pavel Ternovoi told The Associated Press that Ukrainian representatives "are not interested" in talks with Russia if it continues to claim jurisdiction over Crimean clubs.
Ternovoi said that talks involving both countries' football associations plus UEFA president Michel Platini and FIFA representatives were planned but not confirmed, and that "the question . is open" over whether the FFU's president would meet with the Russians directly.
Instead, discussing possible sanctions against Russia with UEFA and FIFA remains a priority, he said.
"To achieve some kind of solution is impossible in negotiations with a side that is breaking all existing football norms and laws," Ternovoi said. "The only thing we can achieve in talks with UEFA and FIFA is the level of sanctions and understanding of the issue."
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