The mystery contents of the briefcase that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was carrying when he arrived in Moscow last week have been revealed as paperwork for talks on Syria, the state-run TASS news agency reported Friday.
The briefcase caused quite a stir when Kerry was photographed clutching the cherry-red luggage on his arrival in Russia last week for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“There were documents for discussions with Putin and Lavrov [in the case],” Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told journalists, saying that he could not specify the exact documents contained in the briefcase.
Putin mentioned during a meeting with Kerry at the Kremlin that the briefcase had caught his eye.
“I saw your arrival and got a little bit upset. On the one hand, it is very egalitarian [that you carry your own briefcase]. On the other, does the U.S. secretary of state not have anyone to carry his briefcase?” the Russian leader joked.
“I thought maybe you believed you couldn’t trust anyone [to carry the case], or perhaps there is money in there?” Putin asked, hinting that money could be used during negotiations.
In response, Kerry said that he would reveal the briefcase's contents to Putin once they could speak privately.
“You will be surprised. It will be a surprise for you, a pleasant surprise,” said Kerry.
During the meeting, Kerry, Lavrov and Putin discussed the situation in Syria and Ukraine and also the fate of imprisoned Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.