MESOP : CAPTN KERRY’S GIANT AGENDA – Kerry heads to Russia for Ukraine, Syria talks


By MATTHEW LEE – 11 July – WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Russia this week for talks with top officials on the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The State Department said Monday that Kerry would visit Moscow on Thursday to discuss ways to strengthen a shaky truce in Syria that appears near the breaking point amid continued violence: The visit comes at a particularly touchy time in U.S.-Russian relations. In addition to deep differences over Syria and Ukraine, if follows last week’s tit-for-tat expulsions by both nations of diplomats after an incident outside the American embassy in Moscow in which a Russian security guard scuffled with a U.S. diplomat.On his trip, Kerry also will travel to France to attend Bastille Day celebrations and to Luxembourg, Belgium and Britain for bilateral talks.