Sunday, July 31, 2016


Russia

Kerry Says Talks With Putin 'Productive'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meet in Moscow, March 24, 2016
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meet in Moscow, March 24, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin have held four-hours of talks that focused on Syria and Ukraine.

Kerry said he considered his talks with Putin in the Russian capital on March 24 to have been "productive."

Relations between the United States and Russia have soured since Washington imposed sanctions on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine in 2014.

Kerry said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed how to get back to a real cease-fire in eastern Ukraine as well as the fate of Nadia Savchenko, the Ukrainian military piloted sentenced to 22 years in prison on March 22 for her alleged involvement in the death of two Russian journalists in eastern journalists.

Speaking alongside Kerry at a joint press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had explained its stance on Savchenko to Kerry. 

Lavrov said Russia hopes the United States will prod Ukraine to implement the Minsk agreements aimed at ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He said Moscow will also press pro-Russia separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to do the same.

Kerry, who also met earlier in the day with Lavrov, also discussed with Putin the conflict in Syria.

Kerry said the United States and Russia agreed to push for a political transition in Syria.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and AFP

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