After meeting with his American counterpart in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, the Russian Foreign Minister expressed hope that the leaders of the two countries would find ways to further enhance relations.
According to News i, US Secretary of State Sergei Lavrov also described the meeting as “constructive” and said that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was willing to explain bilateral relations.
Meanwhile, the Interfax news agency reported that Lavrov declined to comment on whether Moscow had agreed to the proposed US-Russia meeting.
On the other hand, the US Secretary of State said that he had met with Lavrov to “test the proposition of a more stable and predictable relationship” with Russia. He added: “I reiterate our desire to resolve the issue in connection with the reaction to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, the issue of designating European Free Radio as a foreign agent in Russia and the issue of Alexei Navalny.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that the US Secretary of State and Sergei Lavrov met for the first time on the sidelines of the Nordic Council on the prospect of bilateral cooperation on global issues of mutual interest such as Afghanistan, strategic stability, Iran and North Korea discussed.
According to the spokesman, Blinken and Lavrov also discussed areas where “the two sides can benefit from sustained and advanced cooperation, in particular Afghanistan, strategic stability and the curtailment of Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs.”
The diplomats also discussed ensuring humanitarian access for the Syrian people and finding a long-term solution to end the conflict between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ned Price said.
A State Department spokesman said Blinken had raised concerns about the recent deployment of Russian forces near Ukraine’s eastern border and Moscow’s crackdown on RFE / RL in Russia over the new foreign law. The senior US diplomat also called for the release of all American prisoners in Russia. According to him, Blinken and Lavrov agreed to continue consultations.
After the consultations, Lavrov also said: “Our talks lasted longer than the allotted time.” Maybe it was about an hour and 40 minutes. The negotiations seemed constructive. This understanding is seen in the need to overcome the abnormal situation in relations between Moscow and Washington that existed in previous years. We have a lot of problems, they are very difficult to solve, but I am referring to Anthony Blinken’s willingness to do so. We are ready to do that too.