WASHINGTON, May 15. /TASS/. The upcoming meeting of the Russian and US top diplomats, Sergey Lavrov and Antony Blinken, on the sidelines of the Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Reykjavik will be an attempt to take bilateral relations to a more stable and predictable path, US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Friday.
During a special briefing on the US secretary of state’s upcoming visit to Denmark, Iceland and Greenland, Price said Washington would "act firmly in defense of U.S. interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us, that target us or our allies."
"At the same time, we’ve also consistently said that we want a relationship with Moscow that is both stable and predictable, and that is in part because we have some set of common interests, whether that’s in the realm of climate, strategic stability, Iran, North Korea. We want to be in a position to pursue those common interests and what’s in our national interest, including, where appropriate, by working with Moscow where we can," the spokesperson continued.
"And so that’s in part what this meeting is going to be all about. It’s an effort to try to get this relationship on a more stable and predictable path, or at the very least to test the proposition as to whether that’s possible. I wouldn’t want to get ahead of the conversation, but I think you can expect it will reflect the totality of the bilateral relationship - the good, the bad, and the in between," he added.
The ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council will take place in Reykjavik next week. Lavrov and Blinken had a phone conversation earlier this week. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the two diplomats "agreed to hold a separate meeting on the sidelines of the [May 20] session to review key issues of bilateral relations and the international agenda."
Talks on future summit
During their meeting, Lavrov and Blinken will discuss the possible Russian-US summit and the entire range of bilateral issues, Price told reporters.
"We’ve spoken about strategic stability, Iran, North Korea, potentially other issues as well. So both this meeting and the potential meeting with [US] President [Joe] Biden later on, it’s all part and parcel of the same thing: to test and to try to see to it that we can achieve a relationship with Moscow that is more stable and more predictable. And that’s what will be the focus of the meeting next week in Iceland," Price told reporters at a briefing on the upcoming Arctic Council meeting in Iceland due May 19-20.
"So the point of this discussion is to discuss the totality of the relationship, to explore if there is the potential to cooperate when and where our interests do align. And, of course, climate, which is very germane to the Arctic Council meeting, is one of those areas," he added.