MOSCOW, November 8. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet in Beijing on Saturday within the framework of preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum’s summit.
The sides have not specified the meeting agenda, but as a rule it is wide-ranging as a rule at Lavrov’s talks with Kerry. Thus, at the previous round of the dialogue that was held in Paris on October 14, the sides discussed the situation in Ukraine in Iraq, as well as issues of bilateral relations and some humanitarian aspects related to the destiny of Russian citizens.
This time the Russian foreign minister and U.S. state secretary have plenty of issues to discuss. Another round of the six international mediators’ negotiations with Iran will be held in Oman on November 11. The deadline for reaching the nuclear deal with Iran expires on November 24.
The situation in Ukraine is still tense. Kiev does not recognise the November 2 elections of the leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). The Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement to the effect that Russia respects the voting results had caused Washington’s criticism. Kerry also warned with more sanctions if Russia does not comply with the Minsk accords. Meanwhile, artillery shelling continues in the southeast of Ukraine in which two school students were killed on November 5.
The Islamic State threat persists in the Middle East and the United States has so far failed to cope with it by launching airstrikes. Reports have been coming with increasing frequency that the Islamic State militants use chemical weapons against their enemies. Russia has repeatedly stressed the need to pool international community’s efforts to counter the terrorist threat and said that airstrikes on Syrian areas controlled by terrorists without agreement with the Syrian government, as the United States is doing now, are inadmissible.
The issue of the protection of the interests of Russian citizens persecuted by American law enforcement agencies has again become relevant in recent days. On October 31, head of the American subsidiary of Russia’s Tekhsnabexport group TENAM Corp Vadim Mikerin was detained on suspicion of receiving “kickbacks” worth more than $1.5 million under contracts on the transportation of Russian enriched uranium concluded with a U.S. company. The Russian is facing up to 20 years in prison. His request of release on bail was not granted by court.
On November 4, the Dutch authorities decided to extradite to the United States Russian citizen Vladimir Drinkman who is suspected of machinations with credit cards. Accused of cyber fraud Russian Roman Seleznyov, detained on the Maldives in July 2014 and extradited to the United States, also remains in custody.
The fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin may hold a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the APEC summit, gives additional importance to the Lavrov-Kerry talks. Kremlin and White House officials have not excluded the possibility of such a meeting.
The APEC summit will be held on November 10 -11. Russia intends to raise at the forum the issues of making economies more open and compliance with WTO norms.