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Russian foreign minister: Russia, US have many bilateral problems

Relations between Russia and the United States are complicated both in terms of "the essence of issues we are split over, discuss and trying to solve" and in terms of "the atmosphere that has formed due to obvious reasons," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Russia's NTV television channel.

Most of proposals coming from the U.S. side are oriented towards their own interests, he said, adding that Russia "as a rule, tries to reckon with their approaches and find a balance of such interests," while advancing its proposals.

"This is a very difficult work, encompassing, naturally, the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa. We are cooperating on a very difficult problem of Iran's nuclear programme, we are part of the structure that has been set up to tackle the yet 'frozen' problem of the Korean Peninsula's non-nuclear status, we are discussing the entire agenda of the United Nations Security Council," Lavrov noted, adding that Ukraine-related topics are always present at talks with all partners. "So, issues of the international agenda only are packed with contradictory approaches and we have to look for compromises. We have always been ready for that."

The Russian foreign minister noted that Russia and the United States had a range of bilateral problems too. "Our relations are complicated, being not merely in a state of freeze but, in a range of areas, in a dead end, where we arrived long before the Ukrainian crisis," he said. Among such problems he cited talks on further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms the Americans are seeking to resume.

Disarmament, in his words, used to be a key area of activity of the Russian-U.S. presidential commission that was set up several years ago. It comprised more than 20 groups, including the ones tackling various aspects of disarmament and international security. "The activity of these groups and the entire presidential commission was frozen by the Americans and it was done, I would like to stress, long before the Ukrainian crisis," Lavrov said. "Problems have been piling up for long and they are not dwindling." On top of that, now they /the Americans/ are stirring up negative emotions seeking to accuse Russia "of all thinkable and unthinkable sins over the crisis in Ukraine," he added.

He said it was typical of the Americans to demonstrate a consumption approach to international relations. "They think they have the right to punish countries which do not act the way Washington wants them to act on this or that matter and demand they cooperate on issues vital for the U.S. and their allies. This is a wrong approach," Lavrov stressed.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 19Oct14]

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