MOSCOW, May 18 /TASS/. Russia and Germany understand the need to honestly implement the Minsk agreements on the Ukraine settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta published on the daily’s website on Monday.
The Russian foreign minister said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the agreements’ implementation during Merkel’s recent visit to Moscow.
"Chancellor Angela Merkel who participated directly in the drafting of the February 12 document in Minsk knows very well what kind of agreements were laid down in it. She understands that any attempts to misinterpret the document are counterproductive," Lavrov said adding that Putin and Merkel had certainly discussed the current state of Russia-EU relations.
On Monday, Lavrov said he would continue that discussion with EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini during his visit to Brussels on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.
In his interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta Lavrov mentioned the forthcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization /SCO/ due to take place in Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan. According to him, it may outline new perspectives for Iran’s membership of this regional organization. I
Iran has applied for SCO membership quite a long time ago. Given that the criterion of SCO membership requires that a potential candidate should not be under the UN Security Council sanctions, the SCO has not formally considered the application so far," Lavrov said.
"As soon as agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme is fixed, there will be no obstacles to Iran’s accession to SCO," the Russian foreign minister added.
Under the current circumstances, Lavrov said, Russia suggests that the SCO summit in Ufa, that will formally give the green light to India and Pakistan to join the organization, should also pass a decision that will emphasize the SCO’s readiness to advance the question of Iran’s membership as progress is being made on settlement of Iran’s nuclear programme consequently removing grounds for preserving the UN Security Council sanctions.
"With almost two months left before the SCO summit, it would be too early to say anything because lots of things may happen over that period of time. But I have every ground to assume that this progress will be sufficient enough to enable the ministries preparing this summit to suggest that the heads of state meeting in Ufa pass a political decision. It will show a clear perspective for Iran’s membership of the organization," the Russian foreign minister said.