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Global 'Elders' To Meet Putin In Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and other prominent former global leaders in Moscow on April 28.

Lavrov said that Carter, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and other members of the group called The Elders would meet with President Vladimir Putin on April 29.

Their visit comes at a time when Russia's relations with the West are severely strained over Moscow's seizure of Crimea in March 2014 and the deadly conflict between government forces and Russian-backed separatists who hold parts of eastern Ukraine.

The Elders, brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007 and now chaired by Annan, call themselves "an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights."

Lavrov praised their "energy, determination, and willingness to contribute to the solution of international problems."

Other members at the meeting with Lavrov were former presidents Martti Ahtisaari of Finland and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, and Lakhdar Brahimi, who was the UN special envoy for Syria in 2012-2014.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, and Reuters