: U.S. Secretary of State arrives in Moscow
Politics18:15 Mar. 23, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State arrives in Moscow

John Kerry is set to meet with Putin and Lavrov 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in the Moscow ahead of scheduled meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The leaders are expected to discuss peacekeeping efforts in Ukraine and in Syria. 

Last week Russia announced a withdrawal of most of its forces from Syria after more than five months of air strikes in support of president Bashar al-Assad. R

ussia's air strikes are believed to have turned the course of the five-year civil war in the government's favour after months of gains in western Syria by rebel fighters, who were aided by foreign military supplies including U.S.-made anti-tank missiles.

Read also Steinmeier and Lavrov set to discuss diplomatic efforts on Ukraine and Syria

The announcement about the withdrawal came as on the day U.N.-brokered talks involving the warring sides in Syria resumed in Geneva.

Russia claims it is not backing the separatist militants in Ukraine. On the other hand, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Ukraine's Ministry of Defence report of almost daily truce violations from the Russia-backed separatist forces.

Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich fled Ukraine to Russia in 2014. Russia subsisquently invaded the east of country. More than 9,000 people have been killed since.

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