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Kremlin confirms Putin-Kerry meeting in Sochi

FILE - In this May 6, 2015 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf at the Presidential Palace, in Dijbouti, Dijbouti. The State Department says Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Russia this week for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin has confirmed that President Vladimir Putin will meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the meeting about an hour before Kerry’s scheduled arrival on Tuesday morning.

The State Department announced Monday that Kerry would meet with both Putin and his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, but there had been no confirmation from the Kremlin.

This is Kerry’s first visit to Russia since the Ukraine crisis began.

Relations between Moscow and the West have been badly damaged over Ukraine, with Western nations accusing Russia of supporting separatists with arms and manpower. Russia denies this and has bristled at Washington’s pledge to provide Ukraine with military assistance in the form of hardware and training.

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