(QHA) -

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia could repair relations with the West if it would help to calm the situation in eastern Ukraine where government forces are fighting pro-Russian separatists.

Kerry, speaking in Basel, Switzerland on December 4, said that Moscow could help "calm turbulent waters" on its border with eastern Ukraine.

Kerry made his comments after a short meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Kerry said Washington and other countries that support "Ukraine's sovereignty and rights do not seek confrontation" and do not want Russia to isolate itself "through its own actions."

Kerry also mentioned in opening remarks at the OSCE event "hundreds of Russian soldiers who fight and die" in Ukraine.

Russia denies any involvement in the hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

QHA