In a rare moment of accord between Washington and Moscow, the two powers have pledged do all they can to help resolve the crisis in Syria – where 70,000 people are believed to have been killed during nearly two years of conflict.
At a meeting between new US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Berlin, Russia called on the US to press the Syrian opposition to hold direct talks with Damascus.
Elsewhere, a group of international diplomats meeting in the Bulgarian capital Sofia discussed imposing increased sanctions against Syria.
The meeting was part of the Friends of the Syrian People initiative, made up of 56 countries, which is due to hold a larger conference in Rome on February 28.
Opposition group the Syrian National Coalition has said it will attend. Kerry is also due to be there.