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these are the highest level talks between the u. s. russia in russia for about two years i'm tim heritage the reuters bureau chief in russia where vladimir putin is meeting u. s. secretary of state john kerry main focus of the talks is likely steve crane , are they still at odds over the disputes that %HESITATION the united states has said that russia has troops in eastern ukraine helping separatists , russia denies this , but at the same time nato says there's a big troop build up around the border with ukraine and russia could go in very fast if it wanted to at the moment there's a ceasefire vaguely holding but everyone thinks it's a very strange but it could break down at any time , find out how committed putin is to keeping assad in power , uh russia has long been the biggest backer of the syrian president but they're hoping in america that there will be some change in this position to try to and from the %HESITATION more than four year old conflict in syria given that relations between the united states and russia are very low very for the moment one conflict too many breakthroughs at this meeting %HESITATION the rhetoric between the americans and the russians has been quite strong of late and %HESITATION there's been no real of the assignment putin is about to change his stance or in the threat of the west is about to review sanctions or remove sanctions over ukraine so %HESITATION the best one comparably hope for the most we can hope for from this meeting is , the fact that they %HESITATION managed to talk