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Kerry To Meet Putin, Lavrov On May 12

The U.S. State Department and Russia's Foreign Ministry say that Secretary of State John Kerry will meet President Vladimir Putin on May 12 to discuss ongoing unrest in Ukraine, Syria, and Yemen.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Kerry will meet Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Earlier, state news agency RIA Novosti cited a Russian diplomatic source as saying the Kremlin hopes Kerry will bring new proposals on settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine continues to be embroiled in sporadic fighting despite a cease-fire sealed in mid-February and brokered by Germany and France.

The West and Kyiv have accused Russia of supporting separatist rebels with arms and manpower -- a claim that Moscow has denied.

The source told RIA Novosti that Moscow does not expect a "breakthrough" from Kerry's visit, but still called the visit "very important."

The unnamed source said that Lavrov plans to tell Kerry that military support for Ukraine is unacceptable.

Russia has criticized recent efforts by Washington to provide Ukraine with training for its troops.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on May 10, urged Russia to use its influence to persuade separatists in Ukraine to abide by the cease-fire.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP