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Russian FM sees long standoff with US

Updated: 2014-10-21 09:34

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MOSCOW -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday predicted a long standoff with the United States, but also expressed the hope that bilateral relations have hit the bottom.

Russian-U.S. tensions "will be long, not just because solving the Ukrainian crisis will take some time," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying at a meeting of the ruling United Russia party.

"Everyone will also have to think about joining efforts in a constructive manner and not about unilateral sanctions," added the foreign minister.

Meanwhile, he said he hopes the worsening bilateral relationship has reached the rock bottom, although attempts to improve it has been so far not in sight.

"We have already gone far and deep enough. I really hope that this decline in the level of cooperation has hit the end," Lavrov said. "It's not a cold war. It would be more correct to ask where these relations are going."

Yet he noted that "there have been no attempts to improve relations" from the Western side.

According to the foreign minister, it will take the United States a considerable period of time to carry out a total re-evaluation of its place in the world.

Washington has to accept the current trend of multi-polarization in international politics, as well as the rise of new power centers, in order to improve its relations with Moscow, Lavrov said.

"A totally new picture of the world is emerging, which doesn't fit the ideas of Western domination of the world economy, finance and politics," Lavrov said.

He added that Russia is not going to disrupt critical international security tasks, such as the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

According to Lavrov, during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week, they confirmed that a range of global affairs depended on interaction between the two countries.

Speaking about the situation in Ukraine, Lavrov said the Minsk agreements have brought "the likelihood of a political settlement" of the Ukraine crisis.

Lavrov also expressed the hope that misunderstandings and differences between Kiev and the insurgents will be resolved soon, adding that Kiev can only regain control over border checkpoints in eastern Ukraine with the consent of the militia.

Lavrov said on Sunday that Moscow would continue to "back all efforts to implement the agreements, including those reached in Minsk," as well as previous Geneva deals in April.

He praised Friday's meeting in Milan between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, saying it "proves that we will find the way out of the current standoff anyway."

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