MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. Deputy Speaker of the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Konstantin Kosachev has positively assessed the first face-to-face talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, noting that their best follow-up would be resuming the majority of previous formats.
"We will be keeping an eye on the development of the events, as they say in media. The best result would be resuming the bulk of previous negotiating formats and eliminating the most egregious issues, among them, the work of both diplomatic missions," the senator wrote on his Facebook page.
"I liked the cautious optimism of our foreign minister after the talks. Given that traditionally Sergey Viktorovich [Lavrov] provides a realistic evaluation, this is a rather good sign," Kosachev noted. According to the senator, "the recognition that the current situation is an anomaly and that this mess needs to be cleaned up is a good place to start." "It’s clear that the sides view the reasons and ways out differently, but that’s why there is dialogue to boil the approaches down to a common denominator."
After pointing out their differences, the parties tried to highlight topics where they could work together, namely, the Iranian nuclear program, Afghanistan and disarmament, the senator said. The sides spotlighted issues, where they could pursue active cooperation, which include "the pandemic, climate, the Korean Peninsula and regional conflicts."
"Now the ball is in the presidents’ court and this is certainly a key moment. I would say that the situation depends largely on the US leader because our positions, as they say, are on the table and we have always clearly declared [our] readiness to cooperate. But certainly, it should not be that one side should fulfill the orders of the other - this should be only on an equal basis and with an understanding of mutual interests," the politician emphasized.
Kosachev also noted that 30 minutes after the talks in Reykjavik had begun, Washington moved to impose (and then immediately dialed back) sanctions against several vessels and organizations engaged in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. "This is our reality now, though there is light at the end of the tunnel,"
The first meeting between top Russian and US diplomats, Sergey Lavrov and Antony Blinken, was held on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council in Reykjavik on Wednesday. The talks lasted for nearly two hours.