MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. US Secretary of State John Kerry will pay a working visit to Moscow on December 15, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.
"US Secretary of State John Kerry will pay a working visit to Moscow on December 15," the ministry said. "During talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov it is planned to exchange views on issues of bilateral cooperation and topical international problems."
The ministry noted that the situation in relations between the two states remained tense. "A series of confrontational steps taken by Washington under the pretext of the Ukrainian crisis has strongly impacted cooperation between our countries," the ministry said. "From March 2014, the United States froze the activity of the bilateral presidential commission and imposed restrictive measures against Russian citizens and organizations in several stages."
"Offering reciprocal response to such actions, including to dangerous steps in the military sphere, Russia has been consistently stressing the necessity to observe the principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference into domestic affairs," the ministry said. "Meanwhile, we continue joint work with Washington in those areas where such cooperation is in Russia’s interests and meets the tasks of maintaining international security."
Anti-terrorist efforts take a central place in the dialogue between the countries, the Russian foreign ministry said, adding that Russia is actively collaborating with the US and other partners "on creating conditions for the launch of a political process in Syria" on the basis of the Geneva communique of 2012.
"In the trade-and-economic sphere, most of US companies want to continue their operation on the Russian market," the ministry noted. "Despite the sanctions, bilateral trade in 2014 went up by 5.6% to reach $29.2 billion. This year, bilateral trade is demonstrating downwards tendencies having decreased by 30%".
Moscow keeps on raising the issue of "settling the problems of the bilateral agenda created by Washington even before the Ukrainian crisis," the ministry said. "We demand US law enforcement agencies stop their ‘hunt’ for Russian citizens in third countries. We pay special attention to the protection of rights of adopted Russian children mistreated by American foster parents."
The ministry noted that "despite strains in the relations, implementation of several dozens of Russian-US agreements continues." Among such agreements, according to the Russian foreign ministry, is the Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) of 2010 "which is playing an important role in ensuring strategic stability in the world."
"We hope the visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry to Russia, the second such visit in the outgoing year, will promote normalization of the Russian-US relations, the atmosphere of which determines a general climate on the global arena," the ministry said.