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P5+1 not intend to extend talks with Iran - Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister

July 12, 2014, 17:37 UTC+3 VIENNA

A diplomat of one of the delegations told Itar-Tass that the foreign ministers could arrive in Vienna till the end of the week to extend the talks

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VIENNA, July 12, /ITAR-TASS/. The P5+1 (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany) do not set the task for extending the talks with Iran, Russia's high-ranking diplomat has said.

"Our purpose is to speed up the talks. But we don't say the parties are to agree to extend them," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday.

“As of today none has set the task to extend the talks for one day,” he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will not participate in a meeting between ministers from the P5+1 negotiating states [five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany] and Iran on Tehran’s nuclear programme in Vienna on July 13, Russia’s permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna, Vladimir Voronkov, said.

“The minister will not participate in the talks. I am instructed to participate in this meeting,” Voronkov told Itar-Tass on Friday, July 11.

“Lavrov accompanies Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Latin America tour,” he said.

However, Voronkov said, “This does not mean that the Russian delegation’s configuration will change. Sergei Ryabkov [Russia’s deputy foreign minister] is head of the Russian delegation.”

On Thursday, July 10, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, who coordinates the talks, invited the ministers to arrive in the Austrian capital on Sunday, July 13, over a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear dossier.

The U.S. State Department and the French Foreign Ministry confirmed that their representatives would come to Vienna.

A diplomat of one of the delegations told Itar-Tass on July 10 that the foreign ministers could arrive in Vienna till the end of the week to extend the talks.

“They [the foreign ministers] can arrive in Vienna to give an impetus to the negotiations. Not all ministers will arrive: each party will take its own decision,” he said.

“This is a political gesture in order to prompt the parties to continue the negotiations or extend them,” he said.

A member of the U.S. delegation said Secretary of State John Kerry was ready to leave for Vienna. However, a decision has not been taken yet, he said.

The EU foreign policy chief’s spokesman, Michael Mann, said Catherine Ashton was considering a possibility of gathering in Vienna.

A diplomatic source familiar with the situation told Itar-Tass: “Talks faltered, there is no progress.”

The diplomat admitted that chances to finalise talks timely, by July 20, remained. But “they are diminishing. I would estimate an opportunity to complete them timely at 60%”, he said.

Russian position

Russia seeks to reach an agreement on Iran that will not set new standards on nuclear control, Ryabkov said.

"We want none to interpret a new agreement with Iran as new standards on nuclear activities," he said.

National interests

Also Ryabkov said that the P5+1 take a united position at talks with Iran, but they defend their national interests.

"The parties coordinate their positions, but they defend the national interests. The P5+1 unity is significant to create prerequisites for progress," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister said.

Commenting on a statement by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that the talks are hampered due to Russia’s position, Ryabkov said, “The P5+1 group is not a guard of honour that parades and takes a salute by a signal.”

“The P5+1 group includes the countries that have their own interests in different fields. There is nothing dramatic or new that can hamper the talks,” he said.

The situation implies that any priorities are put forth on different stages,” he added.

The final agreements should be “balanced and not infringe upon any interests. In our view, our position is rather justified”, Ryabkov said.

“This does not mean that the P5+1 has no coordinated position. Russia’s stance is based on the national interests,” he said.

“As nothing subversive happens we are ready to uphold and strengthening unity. We should take care of national interests: this is the duty of any diplomat,” Ryabkov said.

The P5+1 is a group of countries which in 2006 joined the diplomatic efforts with Iran in regard to its nuclear programme. The term refers to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, namely the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

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