Saturday 22 January 2022, 04:54 PM
Russia, US seek cooperation amid tension, with 'serious differences'
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 5/20/2021 4:06:24 PM
Russia, US seek cooperation amid tension, with 'serious differences'

Reykjavik: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met here for the first time, expressing willingness to cooperate but also admitted "serious differences" amid tense relations between the two countries.

Meeting with his counterpart on the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, Lavrov on Wednesday said Moscow and Washington have to decide on their further cooperation despite the "serious differences" on a series of issues between the two sides, reports Xinhua news agency.

"We have serious differences in the assessment of the international situation, we have serious differences in the approaches to the tasks which have to be solved for its normalisation," Lavrov said.

"Our position is very simple," the Russian diplomat said. "We are ready to discuss all the issues without exception, but under the perception that the discussion will be honest, with the facts on the table, and of course on the basis of mutual respect."

For his part, Blinken said the administration of President Joe Biden seeks "a predictable, stable relationship" with Russia, noting that Washington wants to work with Moscow on some areas of mutual interests, including the anti-pandemic fight, climate change, as well as the nuclear issues related to Iran and the Korean Peninsula.

But at the beginning of his speech, Blinken said that it was "no secret that we have our differences" and that Washington would respond "if Russia acts aggressively".In a tweet later, the Secretary of State said that he "also reiterated our resolve in response to Russian actions" against Ukraine and opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who is currently jailed.

Wednesday's meeting will be the first between a member of US President Joe Biden's administration and a high-ranking Russian official.Last week, the State Department had said that the focus of the talks between Blinken and Lavrov will be whether an agreement will emerge on Biden's proposed summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Biden had suggested the two meet in a third country at a summit, but it is unclear whether Putin will accept the invitation.US-Russia ties have nose-dived over Washington's allegations of election interference and cyberattacks, the treatment of Navalny and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.The two sides have imposed a wave of sanctions and counter-sanctions.
 

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Russian,Foreign Minister,Sergey Lavrov,US Secretary,of State,Antony,Blinken,

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