Secretary Kerry Visits President Putin in Russia

international affairsUnited States Secretary of State John Kerry has made a visit to Russian President, Vladmir Putin, in Sochi. This was Kerry’s first visit to Russia in two years.

Kerry tweeted about his meeting.

Both sides of the discussion said that the dialogue was a welcome development. The conversation had lasted 8 hours in total. “We are in significant agreement on the most important issue of all, which is that [the conflict in Ukraine] will only be resolved by the full implementation of Minsk and all of us have responsibilities to undertake in order to affect that implementation,” Secretary Kerry said. Russia has denied giving weapons to rebels in Ukraine. Both the United States and European Union have put sanctions in place in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Tensions have been high between the governments of Russia and the US ever since Russia invaded parts of Ukraine and took over Crimea. The United States responded to Russia’s actions with economic sanctions and the two countries have an informal rival dating back to the Cold War which has had great impacts on the entertainment industries and perceptions of the two countries. Secretary Kerry has also stated that Russian officials lied “to my face” when it comes to dealing with Ukraine. Before the meeting, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that the relationship between Russia and the US were in a rough patch “because of the targeted unfriendly actions of Washington.”

Secretary Kerry was presented with a Victory Day t-shirt and baskets of tomatoes and potatoes. Russia held its annual Victory Day celebration on Saturday. The tomatoes were in reference to when Secretary Kerry gave Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov two potatoes. This time, Kerry gave Lavrov a briefcase.

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