US Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Russia to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin. This is his first visit to Russia since April 2014, when Russia zeized control of Crimea in Ukraine.
Kerry is likely to hold talks with both Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
A statement issued by Russian foreign ministry said that it hoped Kerry`s visit will help
“normalise bilateral relations on which global stability largely depends”. According to Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the two countries will also discuss Yemen and Iran.
The Western countries have accused Russia of arming rebels in eastern Ukraine and sending troops there. Moscow has denied these charges adding that the US was trying to isolate Russia in international fraternity.
Nearly 6,000 people have been killed Ukraine since fighting began in April 2014 between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed rebels in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The conflict saw Russia occupy the Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine.
Kerry had last held talks with Putin in Moscow in May 2013, when the Russian leader had wait his American guest wait for three hours.
Two days ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had attended a wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow to commemorate the Russians killed during World War Two. While addressing a joint news conference with Putin, she said the annexation of Crimea had caused “a serious setback in our relations.”
Both the US and the European Union have imposed sanctions against Russia in response to what they called was an `illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country.”
While speaking at the anniversary of Russia`s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, Putin had acknowledged that the western sanctions were hurting Russia.