World

John Kerry Gave The Russian Foreign Minister Two Potatoes Because Why Not

Nothing says "I love you" like an Idaho potato.

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These haven't been the easiest times for U.S.–Russia relations. From disagreements over Syria to Moscow's sheltering of National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden, things have been tense to say the least.

So when Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris on Monday ahead of peace talks on Syria scheduled for later this month, he thought he would break the ice with...potatoes.

Kerry said the potatoes came from Idaho, which he had recently visited. Lavrov said the potatoes were "impressive."

The Russian foreign ministry's Twitter account announced the move with Shakespearean prose.

#idahopotato presented by @JohnKerry to Sergey #Lavrov: to be or not to be #luckypotato? @mfa_russia

MFA Russia@mfa_russia

#idahopotato presented by @JohnKerry to Sergey #Lavrov: to be or not to be #luckypotato? @mfa_russia

03:19 AM - 13 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

And made sure the Russians were not seen to be outdone.

Russia responded w/ #Ushanka Hat gifted to @statedeptspox to stay warm&fancy during #US #winterstorm up to @Sochi2014

MFA Russia@mfa_russia

Russia responded w/ #Ushanka Hat gifted to @statedeptspox to stay warm&fancy during #US #winterstorm up to @Sochi2014

05:47 AM - 13 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, seemed into it.

Thanks to Maria, my Russian counterpart, for preparing me for upcoming Winter #Olympics. @mfa_russia

Jen Psaki @statedeptspox

Thanks to Maria, my Russian counterpart, for preparing me for upcoming Winter #Olympics. @mfa_russia

05:10 AM - 13 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Lavrov and Kerry discussed the possibility of brokering a partial ceasefire and opening an aid corridor as they prepare for Jan. 22 peace talks on Syria in a bid to find a diplomatic solution to a brutal conflict that has killed more than 130,000 people.

Miriam Elder is the world editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 5B5F EC17 C20B C11F 226D 3EBE 6205 F92F AC14 DCB1

Contact Miriam Elder at miriam.elder@buzzfeed.com.

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