Russia, the United States, Ukraine and the European Union will hold talks next week in Geneva to try to negotiate an end to the crisis in Ukraine, EU diplomats have said.

Moscow has said it wants to know more about the agenda for such a meeting.

While no more details were immediately available about the meeting, EU diplomats said it will now go ahead.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton is expected to brief most of the bloc's foreign ministers on the talks on Monday.

"We need to keep the channel for dialogue open, even as we consider further sanctions," one EU diplomat said, who did not want to be named.

"The solution to the crisis is through negotiation."

Russia infuriated Ukraine and the West by annexing Crimea last month.

Moscow does not want to be forced into talks with the interim government in Kiev because of that administration's role in ousting Moscow-allied president Viktor Yanukovych, in what Moscow called an armed, Western-encouraged coup.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State John Kerry by telephone this week that four-way talks must focus on fostering dialogue among Ukrainians and not on bilateral relations among the participants.