Photo: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson turned out to be frank and extensive, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following their meeting, TASS reports.
“We held talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, we have just had a long, two-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” he said. “The talks turned out to be frank and extensive, we covered the entire range of key issues concerning our bilateral relations and cooperation on the global level,” the Russian top diplomat added.
“We have agreed that the current stage in our relations regarding the global agenda is not calm, to say the least,” Lavrov said.
“We have numerous problems, including those, which were left as action-delayed mines from the previous US administration, which was the (ex-President Barack) Obama administration,” Lavrov said.
“We are being realistic and realize that in order to overcome such obstacles we will need to imply weighty efforts on condition that our US colleagues will meet them,” Lavrov said adding that it was a fact, reiterated by Russian President Putin on Wednesday.
“I am confident that the long hours Rex Tillerson and I spent today eye to eye with each other and together with the Russian president, were not in vain,” Lavrov said. “We now understand each other better. I hope that these contacts will continue, involving not only us but also our personnel and personnel of other Russian and US state bodies,” Lavrov added.
“As for my impression from the talks, taking into account all the current issues, both objective and artificial, the possibilities for cooperation remain open,” Lavrov said. “Russia is ready for that, ready for dialogue with the US in various spheres, and not only for dialogue but also for joint activities in both countries’ interest. Of course, we expect the United States to respond in kind.”
Rex Tillerson said both the United States and Russia believe in a unified and stable Syria and want to deny a safe haven to terrorists.
“We both believe in a unified and stable Syria and we agree we want to deny a safe haven to terrorists who want to attack both of our countries,” Tillerson said.
Washington has no evidence that Russia was involved in the suspected chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib. “We have no firm information to indicate that there was any involvement by Russian forces into this attack,” he said. “What we do know and we have very firm and high confidence in our conclusions that the attack was planned and carried out by the regime forces at the direction of Bashar al-Assad,” Tillerson added.