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Moscow hopes for constructive talks with US Secretary of State

Russian-US relations are struggling through the most complex period since the end of the Cold War, the Foreign Ministry said
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
© AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Russia hopes for constructive talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his visit to Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary.

Tillerson arrives on a two-day visit in Moscow on Tuesday. This is his trip to Russia since his appointment to the position of Secretary of State. On April 12, Tillerson will have talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"In connection with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s working visit to Russia beginning later today we would like to point out that we hope for productive talks," the Foreign Ministry said. "This is important for the prospects of our bilateral interaction and for the general climate in the international scene."

Russian-US relations are struggling through the most complex period since the end of the Cold War, the Foreign Ministry said. The administration of Barack Obama did its utmost for the deterioration of ties. The US tried to artificially limit Russia’s growing influence in international affairs and undermine economic development by sanctions, but this was futile," it said.

Washington has shown that it strives for global hegemony, justifying this by deliberations on the exclusiveness of the United States, the ministry said. "Both the Ukrainian crisis and the Syrian issue, with all their tragedy and ambiguousness, are the direct consequence of irresponsible policy of Barack Obama’s administration."

The attempts to accuse Russia are hypocrisy, the ministry said, stressing: "We were not the ones who triggered the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine and started fire of the so-called Arab spring."

Russia won’t give up its interests

Russia "is not going to abandon its legal interests and will accept cooperation only on an equal basis, and not everyone likes this in Washington now," the ministry said.

«However, we have remained open to the maximum frank dialogue with the US on any bilateral and international issues and to joint work in the areas where the goals coincide," the ministry said. "And there are quite a few of them — the fight against terrorism, the prevention of weapons of mass destruction proliferation, efforts to resolve regional conflicts, ensure economic growth and many other areas where the joint Russian and US efforts would benefit not only our peoples but the whole of mankind as well."

"In the course of the forthcoming talks we would like to realize first and foremost to what extent the United States is aware of the need for stabilization and normalization of bilateral relations," the Foreign Ministry said.

US missile strike strengthens terrorists

The ministry wonders if Washington plans to start real cooperation with Russia in countering terrorism. "The recent US missile strike on the Shayrat airbase of the Syrian government forces, which is an act of aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the international law, will most likely lead to the strengthening of terrorists," the ministry said.

Moscow also expects that the United States will agree to an impartial investigation with participation of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into the April 4 incident with chemical poisoning of citizens in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun, in the Idlib Governorate.

"Against this background, it is surprising that Washington treats passively information that terrorists in the Middle Est use chemical weapons. This has happened many times not only in Syria, but also in Iraq," the ministry said. "After eastern Aleppo was liberated from militants, warehouses were found where extremists stored banned substances. However, the US didn’t show any interest to this information for some reason."

The Russian side calls on the West to distance itself from the notorious White Helmets and other pseudo non-governmental organizations, and not to make decisions based on their fabrications.

Libya, Afghanistan and North Korea

During the talks Russia expects Tillerson to speak about the plans on Libya, which has been split, like Iraq, as a result of NATO’s military interference.

"What is the further strategy on Yemen where US weapons are used for massive bombing of cities resulting in deaths among civilians and for exacerbating the humanitarian crisis?" the commentary says.

"We hope that the United States won’t refuse to participate in international consultations on Afghanistan, the next round of which will be held in Moscow on April 14. This is because the goal of the negotiations is to assist to launching the process of national reconciliation in this much-suffered country, about which we told our American partners on many occasions," the statement reads.

Russia hopes U. S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow will help understand Washington’s plans for North Korea, the Foreign Ministry said.

"We are very much concerned about Washington’s intentions for North Korea, in particular, the hints regarding the unilateral power scenario," the Foreign Ministry said. «It is important to see how this correlates with the collective obligations regarding the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, enshrined in the UN Security Council’s resolution."

Ukrainian crisis

Moscow hopes that Washington will be able to persuade Kiev to fully comply with the Minsk agreements, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"We hope in particular that the US will be able, using its influence on Kiev, to neutralize the revanchist sentiment of the Ukrainian war party," the ministry noted. "Washington could also prompt the authorities in Kiev to fully honor their commitments under the Minsk agreements, which is the only way to resolve the conflict caused by radical nationalists' attempts to forcibly Ukrainize (impose elements of Ukrainian culture) every sphere of life of this multi-ethnic country."

Moscow not seeking confrontation

Moscow expects clarification on a whole range of issues linked to ensuring strategic stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic region. "As for bilateral agenda, then the long list of irritants that occurred due to Washington’s fault is not reducing," the ministry said. "With the lack of steps on alleviating the accrued problems, there is the demand for retaliatory measures based on the principle of reciprocity."

The Foreign Ministry expects that the top US diplomat will share his views on all issues of mutual interest.

"We are ready for any development of events, however we will prefer such work that will reduce international tensions rather than increase them," it said. "We aim not for confrontation but for constructive cooperation. We hope that the US side also wants this."