2 February 2013, 22:03

Kerry to visit Russia soon - Lavrov

Kerry to visit Russia soon - Lavrov

The United States' new secretary of state, John Kerry, expects to visit Russia soon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

"[U.S. Vice President Joe] Biden confirmed that Kerry has received my invitation and expects to make use of it soon," Lavrov told reporters aboard an aircraft on his way back to Moscow from Munich, where he had attended an international security conference.

Lavrov had a meeting with Biden on the fringes of the conference.

Lavrov meets with Biden in Munich

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with US Vice President Joseph Biden on the sidelines of the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

The meeting passed in quite an informal and friendly atmosphere, an Interfax correspondent reported. Lavrov asked Biden when new Secretary of State John Kerry is supposed to officially take the office.

"On Monday," Biden replied. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday officially denied reports alleging that Lavrov, Biden, UN/Arab League Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and Syrian opposition coalition leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib were planning a four-sided meeting at the Munich Security Conference.

"Reports that talks are being prepared in Munich between Lavrov, Biden, Brahimi, and Syrian opposition representative al-Khatib are untrue," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov tweeted on Friday.

"No such meetings figure on the foreign minister's program for now," Gatilov said.

Some Western media reported earlier, citing sources in the National Coalition for Opposition Forces and the Syrian Revolution, that talks between Lavrov, Biden, Brahimi and al-Khatib could be held on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

Russia willing to work together with US to narrow disagreements - Lavrov

Russia sees nothing extraordinary in the fact that it has disagreements with the US, and it is willing to narrow them through equitable and respectful dialogue with Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"Our agenda is quite substantive and positive, but disagreements and differences still remain in relations between such major powers," Lavrov said at the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

"We will take a principled approach to any issue in Russian-US relations that is supposed to be agreed upon, and we will be guided by principles of mutual respect, equitability, and mutual consideration of each other's interests," Lavrov said.

"We will certainly work together on issues on which we can work to benefit our countries and international security. We are already working," he said.

Russia values US' commitment to settle disagreements in peaceful way - Lavrov

The US' willingness to settle disagreements with its partners in a peaceful way demonstrates this country's responsible approach toward its foreign policy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"President Barack Obama said in his inaugural speech that the US would seek to resolve disagreements with other countries in a peaceful way, and not because of naivety but because joint work is the most reliable way to eliminate suspicions and fear," Lavrov said at the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

"This very responsible approach based on strict respect for international law is what Russia invariably adheres to in its foreign policy," Lavrov said. "We expect reciprocity," Lavrov said.

No US ABM can be allowed to compromise European security – Lavrov

Moscow continues to seek binding guarantees that no American missile defence installation will create a security threat to a European country.

It believes any installation of this kind can only be allowed to be targeted at missiles coming from a rogue state located outside the Euro-Atlantic area.

Speaking at the Munich security conference Saturday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also urged NATO to clarify its mission in the post-Cold-War world, realize that Russia is not the Soviet Union and stop treating Russia as a threat. He regretted the fact that NATO builds much of its military planning around this false premise.

Old stereotypes obstruct Russia-NATO partnership - Lavrov

The stereotype of a Russian threat hampers the establishment of real partnership between Russia and NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"Progress toward genuine partnership between Russia and the North Atlantic alliance is still being hampered by attempts to exploit the Soviet threat idea, which has turned into the Russian threat idea now.

Both are viable," Lavrov said at the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

"Even during a shortage of financial resources, we can see increasing military activities in the north and the center of Europe, as if threats to security were growing in these regions," he said.

Lavrov also criticized NATO's plans to further enlarge eastwards, "as if there have been no declarations at the top level that the preservation of dividing lines on the continent is detrimental."

"Our proposals on how to make the principle of indivisible security, which has been repeatedly declared in political documents by the OSCE and the Russia-NATO Council, legally binding and practically working remain on the table," he said.

Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax

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