Sochi: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry today met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia to discuss Ukraine and other issues.
Relations between Russia and the West are at their lowest ebb since the end of the Cold War because of Moscow’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its backing for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. The West has imposed economic sanctions on Russia, triggering retaliatory measures by Moscow.
The U.S. State Department announced the talks and indirectly alluded to the disagreements, saying the trip aimed “to maintain direct lines of communication with senior Russian officials and to ensure U.S. views are clearly conveyed.”
The two sides planned to discuss Syria, where they disagree on how to end the civil war engulfing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Iran, where they are seeking an agreement to curb Tehran’s nuclear program by June 30, the State Department said.