Russia, Syria, Ukraine and the New Cold War

John Batchelor Show | 19 July 2016

Stephen Frand Cohen is an American scholar of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University.

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“I spoke to Foreign Minister Lavrov again today,” he [John Kerry] said.

“We both believe that we have an understanding of the direction we are going in and what needs to be achieved and our teams will meet shortly and we are going to continue to do that in order to bolster the cessation of hostilities and in order to increase our capacity to fight back against al Qaeda, which is Nusra, as well as fight back against ISIL,” Kerry said.

“We will also do everything in our power to improve delivery of food, medicine, water, incredibly essential humanitarian needs,” Kerry said.

“In a meeting with U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura in “London, Kerry said it was vital for Moscow to use its influence with the Assad regime to halt its attacks on opposition groups and innocent civilians, which he said were in violation of the cessation of hostilities.

He also emphasized the need to end all attempts to besiege the city of Aleppo and other besieged towns and ensure full humanitarian access there, according to State Department Spokesperson John Kirby.

Kerry said last week after talks with President Vladimir Putin and Lavrov in Moscow he had reached a common understanding on the steps needed to get Syria’s peace process back on track.

“However he declined to give details and said that more work was needed before those steps could be implemented and that Russia and the United States still differed over the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“At the same London news conference, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called on Russia to use its “unique ability” to stop the Syrian conflict by convincing Assad to put an end to five years of fighting that have ravaged the country.

“Russia in particular has a unique ability to persuade the Assad regime to end the carnage and return to the negotiating table,” Johnson said….”

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