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Putin calls US refusal to meet with Russian delegation unconstructive

October 15, 2015, 10:47 UTC+3

The Russian president also said he could not understand why Washington criticizes Russia’s operation in Syria as it refuses to hold a direct dialogue itself

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

© Alexei Nikolskiy/Presidential press service/TASS

ASTANA, October 15. /TASS/. The US decision not to receive a Russian delegation led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is "unconstructive," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

"I believe this position is unconstructive. The weakness of this stance is based on the apparent lack of any agenda. It seems that there is nothing to talk about," the Russian leader said aforeifter talks with his Kazakhstani counterpart in Astana.

Putin also said he could not understand why Washington criticizes Russia’s operation in Syria as it refuses to hold a direct dialogue itself. The Russian leader stressed that Russia "leaves the door open for" the discussion on Syria with all the parties concerned.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called to be more serious about the work with partners on the Syrian settlement and suggested a Russian delegation be led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. "I said we are ready to send a big delegation to Washington to discuss, first of all, issues of the Syrian settlement," Putin said on Tuesday. "I think it can be a serious and representative delegation from Russia led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev."

Putin said the delegation might include the top ranking military, such as a deputy chief of the General Staff, and security officers. "This work is to be taken to a serious, substantive level, if we want to work really efficiently," Putin said, adding it was likewise important to work with the countries of the region too, including Turkey, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq.

"Yes, there are many mutual suspicions and mutual accusations, but if we don’t work towards a solution, it could never be found," he said. "We hope we will be able to move along the path of settling political problems."

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that the United States had refused to receive the top-level Russian delegation for talks on Syria and also said would not visit Moscow.

Lavrov said the US side was ready "to coordinate measures to prevent air accidents in the crisis region."

"Today we got a reply that they cannot send a delegation to Moscow and receive a [Russian] delegation in Washington," he said. "American colleagues are interested only in steps that could help avoid such accidents."

"It is somewhat bitter but certainly, Russian pilots and U.S. pilots need to understand while high up in the sky over Syria who does what in order to avoid accidents," Lavrov said. "The president has supported it. But we are ready to move forward and cooperate far more, in particular to reach the goal announced by the US-led coalition over a year ago - to destroy the Islamic State."

The minister added that the US refusal to cooperate to destroy the Islamic State terrorists raised certain concerns.

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