31 March 2020

Top US diplomat may visit Russia over Ukraine crisis

KONFRONTASI - US Secretary of State John Kerry is likely to visit Russia amid the escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

"Talks have been going on for weeks" about the trip, a diplomatic source told Reuters.

The visit could take place "in the coming days or weeks," according to the unnamed source.

The top US diplomat has not travelled to Russia since the crisis began in Ukraine.

The report came after a Russian newspaper said on Friday that Kerry would meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Feb. 4-5.

On Thursday, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki warned Russia that the country could face more sanctions over the Ukraine situation.

The Obama administration also welcomed the move by the European Union foreign ministers on Thursday to extend the current sanctions against the Kremlin.

Psaki said the EU decision "is just a further sign that the actions of the last several days and weeks are absolutely unacceptable and that there will be new consequences put in place."

The United States and the European Union have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia.

The US and its allies accuse Moscow of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces. Moscow has long denied any involvement in Ukraine's conflict.

Meanwhile, the State Department said on Friday that Kerry plans to travel to Ukraine next week.[ptv]

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