US, Russia put on brave front despite tattered ties
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States and Russia put on a brave face on Friday on deteriorating relations, pledging to work together on shared interests even as they nursed frustration over deep differences on issues like missile defence, Syria and the case of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Opening high-level talks just two days after the White House cancelled a planned summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State John Kerry allowed that US-Russia ties had been complicated by "the occasional collision" and "challenging moments."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also acknowledged the fractious state of relations but called on both sides to act like "grown-ups." Both men maintained that US-Russian cooperation on even limited areas of shared concern is important.
"The relationship between the United States and Russia is, needless to say, a very important relationship, and it is marked by both shared interests and, at times, colliding and conflicting interests and, I think, we are all very clear-eyed about that," Mr Kerry said as he and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel welcomed Mr Lavrov and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to the talks at the State Department.