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Washington says not planning to unfreeze US-Russia Presidential Commission

August 26, 2015, 13:43 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland commented on a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said earlier this week Russia was receiving signals from the US
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US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

WASHINGTON, August 26. /TASS/. The United States has no plans to resume work of the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission in the foreseeable future, a senior US State Department official said on Wednesday.

"We don't expect to have any change in posture in a coming period with regard to the Bilateral Presidential Commission," Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said in an interview with TASS, commenting on a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said earlier this week Russia was receiving signals from the US indicating its desire to restore some channels of bilateral cooperation.

Nuland noted, however, that "we do want to be able to communicate clearly with Russia and we do want to cooperate where we can". But at the same time, Washington also "wants to be clear when we don't think that Russia is living up to its commitments", she said.

Speaking at the Russian Educational Youth Forum Terra Scientia on the Klyazma River in the Vladimir region, Russia’s top diplomat said on Monday: "No one refuses to hold dialogue with us. However, we will not beg as well."

"When they propose to restore cooperation channels, we will not coquet and refuse. We are already receiving such signals. The understanding is obvious that the US’ refusal of Bilateral Presidential Commission was a mistake," Lavrov said.

The commission was set up in 2009 "to chart a fresh start in relations" as part of the policy to "reset" ties between the two countries. It tackled nuclear security, anti-narcotics and space cooperation among other areas. The commission’s work was coordinated by the US secretary of state and the Russian foreign minister.

Last year, the US State Department decided to suspend several projects and meetings planned under the auspices of the commission over Moscow’s stance on developments in neighbouring Ukraine.

 
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