Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Putin-Kerry meeting in Russia’s Sochi ‘has broken ice’ (CNN)

The meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State John Kerry in the Black Sea resort Sochi "has broken the ice" but Russia and the US still have to go a long way in improving bilateral ties, CNN has reported.

Both sides have noted "positive moments," the US news channel said. US Senator from Idaho James Risch, a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, also told CNN it is hard to hold talks with Russians as they advocate national interests very insistently.

Although there was "no breakthrough," the tone of the negotiations was "softer," The Wall Street Journal reported.

Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov announced no major progress in relations between the East and the West after a whole day of talks, which involved President Putin, the newspaper said.

Kerry and Lavrov stressed that differences on the crisis in Ukraine still remain, but said that each of the sides was determined to implement the February 12 Minsk agreements and promised to use their influence to convince all the parties to cooperate in this process.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said on Tuesday the Kremlin regarded the talks of Putin and Kerry not as a breakthrough but as the first signs of understanding that the two great powers should get their relations back on track.

"Our president proceeded in the conversation from our fundamental interest in seeing bilateral relations get back to normal," Ushakov said. "As it was emphasized, it meets the interests of Russia, and we hope the interests of the US, and is extremely important from the point of view of ensuring international stability and security," he added.

"Proceeding from this, we consider the talks very useful, necessary and positive," he added.Ushakov said the talks had been long, open, quite friendly and businesslike. He said Kerry had relayed regards from the US president to Putin.


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