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Russian diplomat: US sees impossibility of solving int’l problems without Russia

March 28, 2016, 2:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia is open for such possibilities and is interested in neither confrontation nor a freeze in relations with the United States, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said

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© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. The frequency of contacts between the Russian and U.S. leaders proves that Washington understands that it is impossible to find solutions to major international problems without Russia’s participation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper.

"The frequency of visits and the frequency of telephone contacts with U.S. leaders in the recent time is really unprecedented," he said commenting on U.S. State Secretary John Kerry’s recent visit to Russia, the third one in less than a year. "It stems from the nature of issues we are discussing and from United States’ recognition, despite its own declarations, that a number of major and important international problems cannot be solved without Russia. We commend this understanding and Kerry’s talks in Moscow were geared, among other things, at seeing to it that the United States sticks to these positions."

When asked about prospects for an improvement in the Russian-U.S. relations, Ryabkov stressed that Russia, on its part, is open for such possibilities and is interested in neither confrontation nor a freeze in relations with the United States. "But the choice is up to Washington on that matte, like on any other matter of the international agenda," he said. "This is the case when politicians in Washington are to take a rule-of-thumb decision and, having finally realized that there is no alternative to cooperation with Russia, get off the ground towards improvement in relations."

"It does not depend on us. It depends on Washington," the Russian diplomat underscored.

The anti-Russian rhetoric

The anti-Russian rhetoric used in the presidential campaigning in the United States promises no changes for the better in relations between Moscow and Washington, which is regrettable, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said.

"This [anti-Russian] rhetoric comes in waves," he said. "Sometimes it subsides to be back again later. ‘Vilification’ and ‘negativity’ are the words that can be used to describe what is going on."

According to the Russian diplomat, many of the presidential candidates in the United State and many in their teams "are behaving like Cold War warriors, like anti-Russian rhetoric riders."

"It is regrettable and promises no changes for the better in our relations with the United States after the elections there," Ryabkov noted.

John Kerry’s visit to Moscow

On March 23-24, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid his thirds in less than a year visit to Russia. During his stay in Moscow, he held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and was received by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The agenda of the talks included a wide spectrum of issues, including the situation in Syria, in Ukraine and in the Korean Peninsula.

A possibility of Washington’s lifting anti-Russian sanctions was not discussed during U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit to Moscow, Sergei Ryabkov said.

"Nothing has changed. We don’t discuss whatever criteria or conditions for lifting the sanctions," he said.

The Russian diplomat noted that the United States, like the European Union, imposed the sanction on far-fetched and illegitimate pretexts and grounds. "That is why the question of the sanctions lifting is to be addressed entirely to the United States and the European Union rather than to Russia," he stressed.

Geneva peace talks 

The so-called Riyadh group of the Syrian opposition at the Geneva peace talks should abandon all preliminary conditions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Izevstia newspaper.

"It is important that the so-called Riyadh opposition group takes a more realistic position and abandon attempts at advancing preliminary conditions for the continuation of the talks," he said, adding that it is necessary to ensure representation of the Kurds "on equal rights and terms with other parties to the Geneva talks."

"Much will depend on how the United States and the European Union countries work with Turkey, in particular, to make it be more realistic in its approaches to the problems in Syria and to the talks in Geneva," the Russian diplomat said.

When asked to comment on Russia’s view on the results of the latest round of Geneva talks that ended on March 24, Ryabkov said, "We are cautiously optimistic."

"It is necessary to ensure a sustainable character of the talks," he went on to say. "It is right that United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said immediately after this round that the talks will be continued on April 11. We already have certain ideas and initiative, some of them have been committed to paper.".

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