As he embarked on his first trip to Russia as Secretary of State on Tuesday, John Kerry had a big agenda: Syria, counter-terrorism, trade, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea.
Following the attacks at the Boston Marathon last month, U.S-Russian relations have been unusually cooperative, with both sides working on the case, but it’s unclear whether similar collaboration will define discussions between the two countries when it comes to Syria.
For two years, Russia has been supporting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad by supplying weapons, fuel and other aid while vetoing U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed at imposing sanctions on Syria. Today at a news conference in Moscow, appearing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary Kerry said the U.S. and Russia “share some very significant common interests with respect to Syria.”
On Tuesday, The New York Times’ Peter Baker joined the NOW with Alex Wagner panel to discuss Secretary Kerry’s trip to Moscow and U.S.-Russian relations.
“There is some optimism,” Baker said, “that this might provide a moment where the two can put aside some of the old enmities of the past,” but given frustrations that followed past optimism, he said, “I would be careful about attaching too much optimism to one meeting.”