Sergei Lavrov

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Kerry: 'Provisional' Syria Ceasefire Deal Reached

Could go into effect within days

(Newser) - Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that a "provisional agreement" has been reached on a ceasefire that could begin in the next few days in Syria's five-year civil war. Kerry said he spoke in the morning with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss terms of a... More »

Russia: Jet Downing Was 'Planned Provocation'

But Russia won't go to war with Turkey, says minister

(Newser) - Russia's foreign minister says the country isn't about to go to war with Turkey, but adds that the downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday "looks very much like a pre-planned provocation," per Politico . "We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident." The... More »

Who Is Ukraine's 'Chocolate King'?

Russia says it can work with Poroshenko as US decries election interference

(Newser) - Ukraine has elected a new president, and it's the man they call "The Chocolate King." Petro Poroshenko made billions in the candy industry before becoming a leading figure in Ukrainian politics. Here's what we know:
  • He's distinctly pro-European—at his victory speech he appeared alongside
... More »

Diplomats Talk Nice, as Putin Talks Tough

Pact reached to ease Ukraine tensions, but Putin says use of force still an option

(Newser) - Top diplomats from the US, Russia, Ukraine, and the EU promised today to "de-escalate" tensions and avoid "provocative actions," reports the New York Times . But on Russian TV earlier, Vladimir Putin didn't seem interested in making nice, notes the Wall Street Journal . He pointedly kept open... More »

Kerry: Russia Agrees to Seek Diplomatic Solution

Russian troops on Ukraine's border aren't helping, Kerry adds

(Newser) - John Kerry said today the United States and Russia agree on the need for a diplomatic solution for Ukraine, which would have to be at the table for negotiations. He also said the Russian troop buildup along the border is creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine, even... More »

Russia: We're Not Interested in Invading Ukraine

Foreign Minister Lavrov insists before meeting with John Kerry

(Newser) - The rhetoric from Russia continues to ease up a bit: "We have absolutely no intention of—or interest in—crossing Ukraine's borders," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Russian TV, reports the BBC . He spoke a day before a scheduled meeting with John Kerry about defusing tensions... More »

US, Russia Talks on Crimea Flop

'We have no common vision,' says Russia's foreign minister

(Newser) - John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have wrapped up a last-minute bid to try to defuse tensions ahead of this weekend's big vote in Crimea, and the results are ... not good. In the quote getting picked up everywhere, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared afterward that "we don’... More »

Kerry Warns 'Serious Steps' if Crimea Votes to Join Russia

'Very serious steps' will be taken if referendum goes forward

(Newser) - John Kerry is meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tomorrow regarding the crisis in Crimea, and in advance of that meeting, Kerry offered a sternly-worded statement today, NBC News reports. If Crimea's planned referendum on whether to join Russia goes forward on Sunday and, based on Russia's... More »

Crimean Parliament Votes to Join Russia

Question will be put to the people in 10 days

(Newser) - Ukraine's prime minister yesterday said Crimea would remain part of Ukraine, but Crimea itself isn't exactly on board. Lawmakers there today voted to join Russia, and set a March 16 referendum in which the Crimean people will be offered the same choice. One lawmaker put it plainly to... More »

Russia: We Have No Control Over Crimea Troops

Says troops are Crimean ahead of first face to face negotiations with West

(Newser) - Today will be a day of high-stakes diplomacy in Paris, as John Kerry meets with his Russian counterpart for the first time since Russia's invasion of Crimea—an invasion Russia is denying has even happened. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today repeated Russia's assertion that those aren't Russian... More »

Syria Peace Talks Open—Unpleasantly

Sides take firm stances in opening speeches

(Newser) - With more than 100,000 dead in a divided Syria, government and opposition leaders are in Switzerland today for year-in-the-making international peace talks. Direct talks haven't even begun yet (that comes Friday), but so far, the tone at the "Geneva II" talks has been far from friendly, the... More »

US, Russia Discuss Syria Ceasefires; Assad Rolls Eyes

And Syrian opposition questions whether to attend peace talks

(Newser) - The US and Russia are discussing the notion of "localized ceasefires" in Syria as peace talks loom next week in Switzerland—offering the first chance for opposing sides to sit down face-to-face, the AP reports. John Kerry, meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Paris, said ceasefires in... More »

Assad Comes Out on Top in Syria Deal

Putin now 'US ambassador to Syria': GOP senator

(Newser) - Following the US-Russia agreement on Syrian chemical disarmament, plenty of political insiders are furious with the Obama administration—but the White House has its defenders. What the media is saying:
  • At Bloomberg , Jeffrey Goldberg sees a major victory for Bashar al-Assad: "The US has in a perverse way made
... More »

US, Russia Strike Deal on Syria

Inspectors will see chemical stockpiles by November

(Newser) - They've got a deal on Syria: John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have agreed on the broad strokes of a plan designed to culminate in the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, reports Reuters . Under the deal, Bashar al-Assad will turn over a list of his chemical... More »

Assad: It Was Russia, Not US, That Convinced Us

He agrees to sign chemical weapons pact as Kerry, Lavrov meet

(Newser) - John Kerry and Russia's foreign minister began wrangling over the details of Moscow's plan to defuse the Syria crisis today, as Bashar al-Assad publicly embraced the idea and simultaneously zinged the US: "Syria is placing its chemical weapons under international control because of Russia," he said... More »

Kerry Looking to Nail Down Syria as Russia Talks Begin

Rebels, meanwhile, despair over lack of strike

(Newser) - John Kerry arrived in Geneva today for two days of talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov over the Syrian disarmament plan they sort of created together. Kerry's top goal, one official tells Reuters , "is to see if there's reality here or not." To do that he'... More »

Syria: We Accept Russia's Plan

As France puts that plan to the test

(Newser) - Though plenty remain skeptical that Syria will in fact hand over its chemical weapons, today began with more forward movement: Syria's foreign minister says his government has "agreed to the Russian initiative" to hand over its chemical weapons for subsequent dismantling in order to "uproot US aggression.... More »

Clinton: Syria-Russia Plan Better Not Be an 'Excuse'

She says 'inhuman' chemical attack demands 'strong response'

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton at last broke her silence on Syria today, offering a cautiously positive US response to Russia's proposal that Syria turn over its chemical weapons stockpiles, Talking Points Memo reports. Clinton, who said she'd just spoken with President Obama about the day's events, said that:
  • If
... More »

Syria: Sure, We'll Turn Over Our Chemical Weapons

State department backtracks on Kerry statement, says it was rhetorical

(Newser) - Syria is on board with Russia's proposal to put its chemical weapons under international control, Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told reporters in Moscow today. Moallem earlier met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov today, and says he "welcomes" Lavrov's suggestion, CNN reports. John Kerry appeared to suggest... More »

Kerry, Russia to Syria: Turn Over Chemical Weapons

US indicates there's still time to avoid a strike

(Newser) - Russia made the surprise move today of prodding ally Syria to hand over its chemical weapons, just hours after John Kerry suggested that Bashar al-Assad and Co. could avoid a military strike if they did exactly that within a week. "If the establishment of international control over chemical weapons... More »

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