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Lavrov and Kerry meet in Paris to discuss a wide range of issues

October 14, 2014, 20:51 UTC+3

The agenda includes a wide range of issues from the Middle East and the spread of a terrorist threat in the region due to the activities of the ‘Islamic State’ to the Ukraine crisis

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© AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool

MOSCOW, October 14 /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry are holding talks in Paris.

The meeting is taking place at the US ambassador’s residence in the French capital.

The agenda includes a wide range of issues from the Middle East and the spread of a terrorist threat in the region due to the activities of the ‘Islamic State’ to the Ukraine crisis.

After the talks with Kerry, Lavrov is expected to meet his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.

Previous contacts of Lavrov and Kerry

Lavrov and Kerry held their last meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. They also had a telephone conversation on October 3 in which the Russian foreign minister stressed the need for the warring parties in Ukraine to comply with the Minsk ceasefire agreement, withdraw heavy weapons and create conditions for the OSCE to monitor the situation.

According to Kerry’s press service, the US secretary of state gave a call to Lavrov to express his concern over the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine.

Views on the Ukrainian crisis

Moscow and Washington are still divided over the Ukraine crisis holding polar opposite views.

"The Ukraine crisis has seriously shaken the international situation, and its impact will be felt for quite a long period of time. Today, it is hard to predict how things in the world are going to develop but it is clear that the future will spring lots of surprises,” the Russian foreign minister said. According to him, the Ukraine crisis was not a manifestation of some fundamentally new trends in relations with Russia but was the culmination of a course which Russia’s western partners had pursued for many years.

The Russian foreign minister has stressed it many times that Ukraine was used as a pawn in a geopolitical game and was forced to make an artificial choice. As a result, the Ukrainian people turned out to be the biggest victim of that chess game.

“A huge European country like Ukraine was forced to play a ‘friend-or-foe’ game and Kiev had to choose in what direction - eastern or western - it should develop its strategic interests,” Lavrov said at a meeting with members of the Association of European Business /AEB/ on Tuesday.

Such attempts are unacceptable for Russia. The Russian diplomacy has always been and will always be multi-vector despite external pressure.

US Vice-President Joseph Biden has recently admitted that the EU economies bore the bulk of impact from the anti-Russian sanctions. It turns out that the United States is again acting in the international arena by someone else’s hands.

The West, meanwhile, continues demanding that Russia be committed to the peace plan for Ukraine promising the sanctions could be softened if Moscow met a number of conditions.

“We are helping the implementation of the Minsk agreements not for the sanctions to be lifted. It is the problem of those who imposed them,” Lavrov said.

“We took the position of truth and justice and supported a political settlement (in Ukraine) proceeding from the interests of all regions, political groups and national minorities and with consideration taken for the lawful rights of ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine to preserve their habitual way of life,” the Russian foreign minister said. At the same time, Lavrov believed that global challenges were unlikely to disappear against the background of the Ukraine crisis. But the United States is ready to sacrifice the struggle against these challenges to its own scenarios, he said.

Lavrov has stressed it many times that it is impossible to divide terrorists into “bad” and “good” noting that “moderate militants” often turn guns against those who support them like it was the case with the ‘Islamic State’ group.

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