Sec. of State greets Russia vets, lays wreath in honor

    10:55 AM, May 7, 2013   |    comments
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    MOSCOW, Russia (CBS) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday (May 7) met Russian World War Two veterans and laid a wreath at the country's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at a ceremony held during a visit to the Russian capital Moscow.

    The event took place ahead of a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov where he is expected to "make another stab" at seeing if the United States and Russia can work together to find a political solution to end Syria's civil war, according to sources in the U.S. government.

    Kerry is also scheduled to see Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to discuss a wide range of issues including the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, Afghanistan and U.S.-Russian trade.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, a U.S. official told Reuters he did not know if Washington and Moscow might be able to move forward on a political plan for Syria that they endorsed on June 30, 2012, but that has since gone nowhere.

    U.S.-Russian ties have been strained by many issues over the last year, among them Syria, what the United States views as a Russian crackdown on Russian civil society and pro-democracy groups and a dispute over U.S. adoptions of Russian children.

    Russia, backed by China, has refused to consider sanctions on Assad's government, vetoing three U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning his crackdown on opposition groups.

    Russia, which maintains a naval base in Syria, supplies arms to Assad's government and but says it is not delivering weapons that could be used in the civil war. Moscow has vehemently opposed arming or supporting the rebels.

    Kerry on Wednesday (May 8) is scheduled to travel to Rome where he will meet with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who has special responsibility for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the State Department said.

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