Russia's Lavrov says seeks to 'reset' in relations with US

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov says he wants new 'reset' in ties between Russia and United States

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, January 26, 2016.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during his annual news conference on Tuesday that he wanted to "reset" Russian relations with the United States.

Lavrov said Russia is ready for constructive collaboration with its Western partners, such as Europe and the United States.

“"We are open to the gradual development of our cooperation with them but only and exclusively on the equal and mutually beneficial basis with the non-interference in the internal affairs of each other and respect for the principal interests of each side,"” he said

The relations between Moscow and Washington dropped to a post-Cold War low, following Russia's annexation of Crimea on March 2014 and sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and the European Union for Russia’s role in the clashes with rebels in eastern Ukraine. 

The sanctions started in April 2014 and include Russian banking, defence and energy sectors and have hit Russian economy hard with sharp decrease in oil prices.

Lavrov says Russia won't hold talks on returning Crimea to Ukraine

Sergey Lavrov also said during the news conference held Moscow that Russia has rejected to hold any talks on giving back Crimea to Ukraine.

"We have nothing to give back. We are not holding any talks with anyone on returning Crimea," Lavrov stated.

"Crimea is a territory of the Russian Federation in full accordance with the expression of the will of its peoples."

Lavrov also indicated Ukraine is dragging its feet on implementing the Minsk peace deal because it desires to continue the Western sanctions on Russia.

"The West understands that today's situation is a dead end - when everyone assumes that it is up to Russia to implement the Minsk accords while Ukraine can do just nothing... Everyone understands that no one will resolve these issues for Ukraine," Lavrov said.

The Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels agreed on Jan. 13 to a new truce deal that was negotiated between Moscow and Kiev envoys in the Belarussian capital Minsk with the help of a senior negotiator from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The deal goes into effect immediately and replaces one broken just hours after its signature at the end of last month.

TRTWorld and agencies