News / USA

Kerry, Hagel to Meet with Russian Counterparts

Kerry, Hagel to Meet with Russian Counterpartsi
X
August 08, 2013 11:31 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a two-plus-two meeting Friday at the State Department. The meeting will come just two days after President Barack Obama canceled a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that was scheduled to take place next month ahead of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. From the State Department, VOA’s Carla Babb tells us what we can expect.
Carla Babb
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a two-plus-two meeting Friday at the State Department. The meeting will come just two days after President Barack Obama canceled a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that was scheduled to take place next month ahead of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg.
 
U.S. diplomats are trying to stand on rapidly shrinking common ground with Russia going into Friday’s talks. The latest quake to rock bilateral relations came earlier this week, when President Barack Obama canceled a summit with the Russian president that was set to take place ahead of next month’s G20 conference.
 
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki explained the decision.
 
“We were not at the point on our progress on a number of these issues where a summit at a presidential level was the most constructive step,” said Psaki.
 
Issues to be discussed will likely include Moscow’s crackdown on domestic dissent, U.S. missile defense plans for Europe and - the final irritation – Russia granting asylum to Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking information about its secret surveillance programs. 
 
Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says the move is a major diplomatic setback.
 
"You talk. You do not send a message that is meaningful by not communicating, by not meeting," says Cordesman.
 
But the State Department says the man behind the latest disagreement won’t shackle progress on other issues.
 
"I don’t think there’s any secret about where the United States stands on Mr. Snowden. It is a part, but it is not a large part of what the agenda will be on Friday,” said spokeswoman Psaki.
 
Syria’s bloody civil war is also a point of contention. And it’s one that both Anthony Cordesman and the Middle East Institute’s Graeme Bannerman say will be difficult to move forward.
 
"Russia does not trust the United States in the Middle East. We want Russia to adopt our policy and they are not prepared to do so," said Bannerman.
 
Cordesman again stressed the importance of communication.

"A lot of it is going to be simply agreeing not to do things, agreeing to communicate, trying to find a way to influence from the outside."
 
After the 2+2 talks in the morning, Secretary Kerry and Secretary Hagel will meet separately with their counterparts in the afternoon. The goal is to keep the dialogue between the two countries flowing, even as recent disagreements threaten to dam up progress.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs