A ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has ended in disagreement after Russia and the United States clashed over the organization's role in the Ukrainian crisis.
Foreign ministers from the OSCE's 55 member states ended a two-day meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, Tuesday, without issuing a joint statement.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the conference the OSCE should not turn election-monitoring into what he called an instrument of political manipulation and destabilization.
OSCE election monitors have criticized Ukraine's government, which has close ties to Moscow, for what it said were serious shortcomings in this year's presidential election.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell later said he "categorically" disagrees with Mr. Lavrov's characterization. He said Washington and its allies are not trying to extend their influence into Ukraine, but only want freedom for the Ukrainian people.