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SOCHI, October 27. /TASS/. Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union, and the situation in Syria and in Ukraine were in focus of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s speech at a closed-door session of the Valdai international discussion club, Nikolai Zlobin, President of the Washington-based Center on Global Interests, a thinktank, told journalists on Thursday.
"Generally, the atmosphere was rather friendly and confidential. It was not Lavrov’ first speech at the Valdai club, so he had friendly relations with many of its members," the expert said. "As usual, the minister answered questions very calmly, with occasional jokes, demonstrating complete confidence in the current policy."
"Lavrov spend more time at the session than had been originally planned, he easily agreed to exted the meeting," Zlobin said. "He was ready to continue his question-and-answer session as long as possible to bring home his ideas."
According to Zlobin, the Russian top diplomat rather thoroughly dwelled on Russia’s relations with the United States "in various aspects, both on direct relations and on contacts in the context of third countries."
Another major topic was relations between Russia and the European Union. "It was stressed that NATO’s eastwards expansion has spoiled the idea of promoting a strong and indivisible world," the expert said.
Apart from that, the Russian foreign minister touched upon the crises in Syria and Ukraine, and the situation in Afghanistan, Zlobin added.