US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have held a top level meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi to try and ease nearly two years of strained relations.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its apparent involvement in Ukraine have angered the US but on Tuesday the language was positive.
“If and when Minsk is fully implemented, it is clear the US- and EU-sanctions can begin to be rolled back. But I also made clear our deep concerns regarding the situation on the ground, continued perceived violation of the ceasefire,” said John Kerry US Secretary of State.
Even so after several hours of talks there was no discernible sign of progress with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov admitting to nothing in the ongoing Ukraine crisis:
“I agree with John that the ceasefire regime continues to be violated. There are also violations of the agreement to withdraw heavy weaponry, by both sides, sometimes more by one side, sometimes more by the other.”
Kerry also held what he described as a “frank meeting” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Both sides have vowed to work together on other contentious issues such as Syria and stressed the need to keep communication lines open.