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Putin Hopes Kerry Visit Will Help Solve Syria, Ukraine Crises

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes the visit to Moscow by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will help reconcile differences between the two countries on Syria and Ukraine.

Speaking at the beginning of talks in the Russian capital on March 24, Putin credited cooperation between the two countries for some successes in the conflict in Syria.

Kerry said the United States looked forward to making progress in peace talks in Geneva and to begin the "very serious and difficult work" of a political transition in Syria.

"The serious approach that we have been able to cooperate on has made a difference to the life of people in Syria and to the possibilities of making progress on peace," Kerry told Putin.

Putin even offered warm words for U.S. President Barack Obama, with whom his relations have sunk to a Cold War-era level of hostility since Washington imposed sanctions on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine in 2014.

"We understand that what we have been able to achieve on Syria has been possible only thanks to the position of the U.S. top political leadership, President Obama," Putin said at his meeting with Kerry.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Reuters