US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the Russian resort of Sochi Tuesday for high stakes talks seeking to push President Vladimir Putin to fully implement a shaky Ukraine ceasefire.
Kerry was to meet Putin in the Black Sea city at “a critical moment” for Ukraine aiming to ensure the “next steps in concrete implementation” of the ceasefire deal are taken, a senior State Department official said.
The top US diplomat also wanted to discuss the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya as well as brief Putin on the state of the negotiations seeking to reach a potentially historic deal on curtailing Iran’s nuclear programme.
Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and then Putin.
It is the highest-level trip by a US official to Russia since Kerry visited Moscow in May 2013.
Ties between Moscow and Washington collapsed when Russia seized the southern Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in early 2014 and buttressed separatists in eastern Ukraine.