Clinton to visit Russia, Syria one likely focus

June 20, 2012 - 10:30 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is planning to travel to Russia next week, a visit that follows recent talks between President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Mexico.

The State Department said Wednesday that Clinton will attend a meeting of Asia-Pacific foreign ministers in St. Petersburg on June 28. Clinton also will hold private talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that will likely focus on the crisis in Syria and efforts to get Iran to comply with international demands on its nuclear program.

Clinton's visit was planned before Monday's Obama-Putin meeting but she and Lavrov were expected to build on that discussion, which ended without apparent agreement on how to end continuing violence in Syria.

Clinton will visit Finland and Latvia before Russia.