U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry will visit Moscow from 22 to 25 March. This was reported on the Department’s website.
Kerry will hold meetings with Russian officials, they will discuss the efforts of the International support group Syria for maintaining peace in the country. In addition, the negotiations will be the issues raised about the provision of care and expanding access for humanitarian assistance. They will discuss the fight against “Islamic state” (banned in Russia), as well as the transition of power in Syria.
Kerry at the upcoming meetings in addition to Syria is planning to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the progress of the Minsk agreements.
Plans to visit Moscow Kerry announced on 15 March, shortly after the announcement of the withdrawal of the main troops of Russia from Syria. Kerry is going to meet with President Vladimir Putin and foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “With the cessation of hostilities, which is largely respected, the Declaration of Russia’s immediate withdrawal of half or more than half, parts — troops from Syria and the convening of political talks this week in Geneva, we reached a very important phase in this process [to resolve the situation in Syria]”, said the Secretary of state.
Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, in turn, said that the question of a meeting with Putin, Kerry worked. “Of course, traditionally from the Russian side we are ready to discuss the most pressing issues, of course, in the first place — Syria, that the efforts and coordination of our joint efforts to advance the peace process settlement,” he said (quoted by TASS). Moscow “is ready to exchange views on progress, or rather the failure of the Ukrainian party to the Minsk agreements,” he added.
March 15, Russia began the withdrawal of the main troops from Syria. Putin said that “the tasks set before the Ministry of defence as a whole is made”. Meanwhile, Russia will retain a presence in Syria after the withdrawal of the main part of the troops. Moscow will increase its military presence in the Arab Republic for a matter of hours, noted the President, however, according to him, the authorities “didn’t want to do that”, as “military escalation — not our choice”.