Russia says Kerry to visit Moscow next week

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Moscow, March 19 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry will pay a two-day visit to Russia on Wednesday, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

During a meeting with Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov, the two sides are expected to exchange views on bilateral cooperation and current hot global issues, Xinhua cited the ministry as saying in a statement.

The ministry enumerated a bunch of sanctions Washington imposed on Moscow in March 2014, when Russia took over the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine, saying that the Russia-US relations remain complicated.

However, the Russian side voiced the hope for improvement of bilateral ties during Kerry’s upcoming visit.

“We hope that the visit of the US Secretary of State to Russia — the third in less than one year — will contribute to the normalisation of the Russian-American relation,” said the statement.

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The ministry confirmed that the Syria crisis will be high on the agenda during Kerry’s visit, adding that the crisis in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East and North Africa will also be discussed.

On Wednesday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kerry was under consideration during the latter’s visit to Moscow.

Kerry came to Russia in May and December in the past year.

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