Strongly opposed over the crisis in Ukraine, the United States and Russia are engaged in one of their most contentious diplomatic challenges for decades.
US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday, March 14 in the UK.
Earlier this week, hope looked bleak for constructive dialogue between the US and Russia when Kerry cancelled a trip to Moscow.
On Monday, Lavrov sat down with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who told him: “I asked you, according to the request of the American side, to invite Secretary of State Kerry, who wanted to come to Russia to continue consultations.”
Lavrov replied to Putin: “He, [Kerry], agreed previously, but called me back on Saturday and told me he would like to ‘postpone the trip,’ as he said.”
Two days later, however, Kerry announced that a meeting would in fact take place – not in Moscow, but in London.
With tensions running high, many analysts are likening Washington and Moscow to players in a chess game with echoes of the Cold War – with Ukraine increasingly being seen as a pawn in a geopolitical battle for influence.