Emotional baggage: Vladimir Putin ribs John Kerry over carrying his own luggage

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Putin Teases Kerry Over Carrying His Own Luggage

In America, we carry our own weight.

With the latest round of Syrian peace talks underway in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry was in Moscow Thursday to talk with one of President Bashar Al-Assad's chief supporters -- Vladimir Putin.

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The discussion was to focus on matters that couldn't be more consequential to Syrians: expanding access to humanitarian aid, maintaining the cessation of hostilities, implementing a political transition.

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Emotional baggage: Vladimir Putin ribs John Kerry over carrying his own luggage
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is welcomed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the presidential residence of Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday May 12, 2015. (Joshua Roberts/Pool Photo via AP)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is welcomed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the presidential residence of Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday May 12, 2015. (Joshua Roberts/Pool Photo via AP)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - MAY 12: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) stands with with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) during talks as U.S. Ambassador John F. Tefft looks on May 12, 2015 in Sochi, Russia. Kerry is in Russia to discuss the crisis in Ukraine the Russian President. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd R) meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) at the presidential residence Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi on May 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOSHUA ROBERTS (Photo credit should read JOSHUA ROBERTS/AFP/Getty Images)
US.Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) watch as members of the US and Russian delegations place red flowers at the Zakovkzalny War Memorial in Sochi on May 12, 2015. Kerry began high stakes talks in the Russian resort of Sochi Tuesday aimed at pushing President Vladimir Putin to fully implement a shaky Ukraine ceasefire. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOSHUA ROBERTS (Photo credit should read JOSHUA ROBERTS/AFP/Getty Images)
US.Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) watch as members of the US and Russian delegations place red flowers at the Zakovkzalny War Memorial in Sochi on May 12, 2015. Kerry began high stakes talks in the Russian resort of Sochi Tuesday aimed at pushing President Vladimir Putin to fully implement a shaky Ukraine ceasefire. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOSHUA ROBERTS (Photo credit should read JOSHUA ROBERTS/AFP/Getty Images)
US.Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) lay a wreath at the Zakovkzalny War Memorial in Sochi on May 12, 2015. Kerry began high stakes talks in the Russian resort of Sochi Tuesday aimed at pushing President Vladimir Putin to fully implement a shaky Ukraine ceasefire. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOSHUA ROBERTS (Photo credit should read JOSHUA ROBERTS/AFP/Getty Images)
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But before what became a nearly four-hour talk began, the Russian president -- speaking during a joint appearance with Kerry at the Kremlin -- provided a moment of odd levity: he was "frustrated and upset," he told Kerry, to see such a senior official carrying his own luggage from the plane.

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"On the one hand, it's quite a democratic way of conduct, but on the other hand, I thought probably the situation in the United States is not that good and there is no one to assist the Secretary of State in carrying his luggage," Putin said.

The American economy is "okay," he quipped, before adding that there was "probably" something in that "briefcase of yours you couldn't trust anyone else with. Probably you brought some money with you to haggle on key matters."

Kerry took Putin's humor in stride, replying: "When we have a private moment, I'll show you what's in my briefcase. And I think you'll be surprised -- pleasantly."

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