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Kerry, Lavrov Discuss Ukraine, Middle East Crises

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) at a meeting last year.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have discussed the situation in Ukraine and the various crises in the Middle East.

A State Department official said Kerry and Lavrov spoke by phone and talked about the Palestinian-Israeli crisis, the civil war in Syria, the situation in eastern Ukraine, and various bilateral issues.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the phone call was initiated by Kerry.

Lavrov said in late December that a new U.S. sanctions law against Russia could undermine Moscow-Washington relations.

On December 30, the United States vetoed a bid by Palestinians in the UN Security Council to win backing for a resolution on a final Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

Russia voted for the resolution.

Kerry and Lavrov last met in person on December 14 in Italy.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax