Lavrov, Kerry to hold talks in Berlin to discuss global and bilateral challenges

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin on Tuesday.

At the meeting, "the two countries' highest-ranking diplomats will discuss a wide range of issues on the bilateral agenda and key international problems," the Russian ministry said earlier.

Lavrov, for his part, said that he was going to raise the issue of international law violations by the U.S. during the talks with Kerry.

"If the country wants its actions to be perceived right, the only way is to observe international law," Lavrov said while meeting with students at the Diplomatic Academy on Monday.

"I am hoping to address specific examples, including the Syrian crisis, when I meet with John Kerry in Berlin tomorrow," the minister said.

The U.S. Department of State, for its part, said that during the meeting with Lavrov, Kerry would try to persuade Moscow to change its opinion on the Syrian crisis.

U.S. officials, however, admitted that they did not expect this meeting to produce a breakthrough in terms of securing changes in Russia's stance on the conflict in Syria.

Russia's decision to ban Americans from adopting Russian children will be addressed as well, the Department of State said.

Like all countries, the U.S. seeks to protect each child, and it is discouraged by the idea that these tragic accidents (the deaths of Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens) resulted in this ban.

There are lots of orphans in Russia whom loving American families would be glad to adopt, but they are unable to do so because of the ban, it said.

Diplomats in Moscow also said that Lavrov planned to discuss the fate of Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens at his meeting with Kerry.

The death of Maxim Kuzmin (Max Shatto), a three-year-old Russian boy adopted by a U.S. family, will be in a focus of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's negotiations next week, Russian Foreign Ministry Human Rights Commissioner Konstantin Dolgov said.

Kerry will visit the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates during his first foreign trip as U.S. secretary of state from Feb. 24 to March 6.

Lavrov and Kerry discussed the Syrian crisis and the situation on the Korean peninsula following North Korea's recent nuclear test over the phone last week.

It will be Lavrov's first meeting with Kerry, who was officially appointed as U.S. secretary of state on Feb. 2 after heading the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for four years.

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