Putin to Meet with Kerry in Sochi U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the resort city of Sochi, in Kerry's first visit to Russia since relations soured over sharp disagreements on Ukraine and Syria.
A Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, has confirmed Mr. Putin's participation in the Sochi talks. He told Russia's Interfax news agency that international sanctions on Russia, linked to its involvement with separatists in eastern Ukraine, are not on Russia's agenda. But he said if the subject comes up, the Russian side will "express [its] position."
The State Department says Mr. Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Kerry on Tuesday will discuss "a full range of bilateral and regional issues," as part of an ongoing effort to ensure that U.S. views are clearly conveyed.
A State Department spokeswoman says the talks also will focus on nuclear negotiations between Iran and six nations seeking a deal to contain Tehran's nuclear program.
France's Hollande Calls for End to U.S. Embargo on Cuba
French President Francois Hollande urged the United States on Monday to end its five -decade long trade embargo on Cuba, while pledging his country's continued support as the communist nation reforms its economy.
Mr. Hollande arrived in Havana Monday, becoming the first Western leader to visit Cuba since President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama announced last
December that they would seek to end more than five decades of Cold War-related bitterness.
Speaking at the University of Havana, the French president said Paris will do what it can to see that "the measures that have damaged Cuba's development" can be finally be repealed. Mr. Hollande, who is also the first French head of state to visit Cuba,
was accompanied by a large delegation of French business leaders who are eager to expand the two nation's current $400 million trade relationship.
Mr. Hollande signed a series of bilateral trade and educational agreements with Cuban officials. He also met separately with Mr. Castro and his brother, ailing
revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who the French president described as "a man who made history."