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Lavrov urges to take potential of six-party talks on North Korea into account

The situation in Northeast Asia is very complicated, the Russian top diplomat stressed

HO CHI MINH CITY, February 25. /TASS/. The six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, which involve Russia, China, the US, Japan and the two Korean states, may prove useful if there is progress in dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a conference dubbed International Cooperation in a Troubled World, organized by the Valdai International Discussion Club in partnership with the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

"The situation in Northeast Asia is not easy, primarily because of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, but as far as long-term stability goes, the goal is to establish a peace and security mechanism in the region," he said. "This is one of the goals that were agreed on during the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue when the talks were still underway. They are stalled now but their potential should be taken into account," the Russian top diplomat noted.

"I hope that if there is progress in relations between the US and North Korea, then the six-party mechanism will prove very useful, particularly in relation to peace and security issues," Lavrov added.

According to him, this is what the Russian-Chinese roadmap on resolving the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula is aimed at. "The roadmap suggests three stages: first, to build trust and refrain from provocations such as nuclear and missile tests in North Korea and large-scale navy and air force drills involving the US and South Korea," he said, adding "as trust will build up, meetings may be held and initiatives may be put forward in order to find a balance of interests and take simultaneous actions."

"When the other party expresses readiness to meet you halfway, you should do the same," the Russian foreign minister continued. "According to the roadmap, at the final stage, there is a need to establish a peace and security mechanism in Northeast Asia so that all six countries and the entire region can feel safe and confident that there some reliable agreements," Lavrov said.

He also noted that the "an action for an action" logic had started gaining support in Washington. "At least, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov’s contacts with his US counterpart show that the US is ready to ask about our view of a certain scenario concerning what is going to happen in Hanoi in a couple of days [the North Korea-US summit - TASS]," the Russian top diplomat emphasized.