Kerry’s Visit to Russia a Chance to Talk Syria, Mend Fences : NPR
Secretary of State John Kerry sets off for what he calls “a long overdue” trip to Russia on Monday, and Syria is likely to top the agenda.
But U.S.-Russian relations are frosty these days. The U.S. is imposing targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators, while Moscow is preventing American families from adopting Russian children.
Kerry would be wise, though, not to dwell on these and other disputes, says Angela Stent, director of the center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University. She says the Obama administration needs to find a way to work with President Vladimir Putin on pressing global issues.
“We do know that Putin does have a pragmatic side to him and that he is willing to engage and make deals,” Stent says. “So I think the trick is to sort of find a way of doing that, of engaging Russia’s self interest, and not at least in the beginning being sidetracked by the Russian narrative of what’s wrong with the relationship.”