Western diplomats couldn't bring together the Russian and Ukraine foreign ministers for a meeting Wednesday in Paris.
The hope was that such a meeting could have helped start resolving the crisis in Ukraine's Crimea region.
But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he feels some small successes were made in negotiations with each side.
Kerry was and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were in Paris for a conference focused on aid for a refugee overflow in Lebanon from the civil war in neighboring Syria.
Kerry and Lavrov met three times to try to broker an agreement on Ukraine.
Kerry asked Ukraine's foreign minister to delay his flight home in hopes of arranging what would have been the highest-level meeting between Moscow and the new government in Kiev.
Kerry said at a news conference that he did not expect the two sides to meet. He also said Russia's military advances in Crimea have united the world behind Ukraine.