Putin, Kerry discuss closer Russia-US cooperation on Ukraine crisis

Updated: 2015-05-13 09:31


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The meeting is planned to draft documents on ceasefire and demilitarization in current main fighting flashpoints like Shyrokyne village, as well as to discuss Russia's proposal on the pullback of tanks and under-100-millimeter-caliber artillery from the boundary line.

For an effective implementation of the Minsk agreements, the " Normandy Four" of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia agreed at the end of April to introduce four working subgroups of the contact group on security, political issues, economic and reconstruction issues and refugees, respectively.

Meanwhile, Kerry promised to talk to Poroshenko on contents of Tuesday's meeting and to cooperate with all sides to ensure implementation of the Minsk agreements. He also raised the possibility of the US and the EU lifting sanctions against Russia if the Minsk agreements are fully implemented by all relevant parties.

The crisis in Ukraine has caused a dive of the relationship between Washington and Moscow, with the United States and its Western allies slapping rounds of sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and its alleged military involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

As this is Kerry's first trip to Russia in two years, possible bilateral relationship restoration became one of the key topics of the meetings.

Ushakov, who positively assessed the talks as "very useful, necessary and positive," said it is possible for Putin to meet US President Barack Obama on bilateral or multilateral occasions this year.

Russian foreign minister Lavrov added that both countries agreed it is necessary to avoid any actions which could "inflict long-term damage upon our relations."

"Our assessments were not identical in everything, but today's meetings made it possible for us to better understand each other," Lavrov said.

During the meeting that lasted for nearly four hours, Putin reaffirmed Russia's readiness "to a most wide cooperation, to the closest interaction (with the US) on the basis of equality, mutual respect of interests and stances," according to Lavrov.

Apart from Ukraine crisis and bilateral relations, other issues like Iranian nuclear problem, Syrian crisis and international anti- terrorism were also discussed at the meeting.

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