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MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland arrived in Moscow on Sunday, and her official programme will begin on Monday, the U.S. embassy said on Sunday.
Nuland is expected to meet with senior Russian government officials to discuss the next steps aimed at implementing the Minsk agreements following her visit to Kiev on May 14-16 and also the meetings held by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Sochi.
She will also discuss bilateral issues with Russian officials and meet with civil society representatives, the U.S. Department of State said in a statement released on Saturday.
Earlier this week, Nuland traveled to Kiev, where she held meetings with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President Pyotr Poroshenko. "Coordinating our actions with the United States is vitally important," Poroshenko said following talks.
After a visit to Kiev, Nuland said Washington was willing to expand its participation in ensuring the implementation of the Minsk agreements, together with the EU and the "Normandy Four" countries. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has told TASS that the United States is showing interest not only in the "Normandy Four" format, but also in the Contact Group on Ukraine. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry sees no point in that.
He also said the negotiations at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow will be devoted to "the Russian-American relations and to the situation in Ukraine."
"At the Foreign Ministry on May 18, Victoria Nuland will have a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and me," the diplomat said.
The visit will be the second trip of a senior U.S. diplomat to Russia in a week. On May 12, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov in Sochi and was later received by Russian President Vladimir Putin. "The two sides exchanged views on virtually all key issues of present-day international agenda," Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said following talks. "Of course, the Ukrainian issue was high on the agenda," he noted.
TASS has information that Nuland will several more meetings with Russian officials.