PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, October 19. /TASS/. Relations between Russia and the United States reached a dead end long before the Ukrainian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the NTV television channel.
“Certainly, we have a range of bilateral problems,” he said. “Our relations are complicated, being not merely in a state of freeze but, in a range of areas, in a dead end, where we arrived long before the Ukrainian crisis,” he said, citing such problems as the adoption of Russian children. “Over and over again, our children are handed over from the families which adopted them to illegal foster families,” he said. “They are often taken to homosexual families, which is prohibited by our laws. There is such problem as abduction of Russian citizen, whom the American justice has questions to.”
“There are problems in such areas as, say, museum exchanges,” Lavrov went on to say. “The Schneerson library is in Russia and is our property. The United States nonetheless insists the suit of an American Chassid community be satisfied and it should be returned to the United States. We cannot return what has never left Russia’s territory. Back in 1990s, the Library of Congress asked a number of books by subscription. And we cannot have these books back until now. All terms it was to be done are overdue.”
There are a number of other problems, according to Lavrov. Thus, “the American want very much /and John Kerry told me about it in Paris/ to resume talks on further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms,” he said. “We explain to our partners that, first, it is necessary to fulfill the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed in 2010. Its implementation proceeds normally, faultlessly, there are mechanisms of control over observance of all provisions of this important document. We also remind that before getting back to any aspects of disarmament, we must straighten out what is going on in the organizational sphere of our cooperation.”
Disarmament, in his words, used to be a key area of activity of the Russian-U.S. presidential commission that was set up several years ago. It comprised more than 20 groups, including the ones tackling various aspects of disarmament and international security. “The activity of these groups and the entire presidential commission was frozen by the Americans and it was done, I would like to stress, long before the Ukrainian crisis,” Lavrov said. “Problems have been piling up for long and they are not dwindling.” On top of that, now they (the Americans) are stirring up negative emotions seeking to accuse Russia “of all thinkable and unthinkable sins over the crisis in Ukraine,” he added.
Summing up the results of his talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris, the Russian foreign minister noted that relations between Russia and the United States were complicated both in terms of “the essence of issues we are split over, discuss and trying to solve” and in terms of “the atmosphere that has formed due to obvious reasons.” “Nevertheless, as I could see for another time, John Kerry is set to try to find positive subjects to move forward and solutions to problems we are differing on,” Lavrov said.
Most of proposals coming from the U.S. side are oriented towards their own interests, he said, adding that Russia “as a rule, tries to reckon with their approaches and find a balance of such interests,” while advancing its proposals.
“This is a very difficult work, encompassing, naturally, the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa. We are cooperating on a very difficult problem of Iran’s nuclear programme, we are part of the structure that has been set up to tackle the yet ‘frozen’ problem of the Korean Peninsula’s non-nuclear status, we are discussing the entire agenda of the United Nations Security Council,” Lavrov noted, adding that Ukraine-related topics are always present at talks with all partners. “So, issues of the international agenda only are packed with contradictory approaches and we have to look for compromises. We have always been ready for that.