As diplomatic contact between the United States and Russia collapse in Syria, senior officials on both sides are gathering in Moscow for a meeting on the peace process in eastern Ukraine.
The officials leading the talks are U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, and Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov. Both figures are regarded as key coordinators of their nations' respective policies in eastern Ukraine.
With U.S.-Russia relations again bottoming out over Syria and a myriad of related issues, no concrete progress is expected from the meeting. Indeed, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said as much in a Wednesday press conference.
“These are routine expert-level talks, no one is aiming for a breakthrough,” Peskov said.