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Kerry, Putin exchanged no gifts during their meeting — Kremlin spokesman

May 14, 2015, 13:27 UTC+3 SOCHI
Sergey Lavrov had presented John Kerry with a World War Two Victory Day T-shirt and two baskets with potatoes and tomatoes during talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi
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Vladimir Putin and John Kerry

Vladimir Putin and John Kerry

© Joshua Roberts/Pool Photo via AP

SOCHI, May 14. /TASS/. US Secretary of State John Kerry who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 12 did not present the Russian leader with any gifts and did not receive any gifts himself, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday.

"No, they did not [exchange any gifts]," the Kremlin official told reporters, answering a question if there was an exchange of gifts between Putin and Kerry and if the US state secretary brought a present from US President Barack Obama.

"The thing is that [Foreign] Minister Sergey Lavrov is Mr Kerry’s opposite number, so they had an exchange of gifts according to the protocol," Peskov said. He also said that Kerry and Lavrov have "long-time personal relationship."

"The president received both ministers to hear their report on the results of their contacts," the Russian presidential press secretary said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reported on its Facebook page that Sergey Lavrov presented John Kerry with Russian Krasnodar Teeritory’s tomatoes and potatoes, which are distant relatives to the ones brought to him by his American counterpart a while ago.

The US secretary of state gave to the Russian side a list of Russian media quotes, which, according to him, do not reflect the real potential of large-scale US-Russian relations. In Kerry’s opinion, they bilateral relations need improvement.

In January 2014, Kerry gave Lavrov two large potatoes from Idaho, while the two were holding talks in Paris. Lavrov later said a Southern Russian farm asked him to donate the potatoes for cultivation experiments.

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