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World

Lavrov, Blinken call for cooperation in first meet

  • "Our task is to determine how we will build relations further."
Updated 20 May 2021

REYKJAVIK: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Wednesday for cooperation between Moscow and Washington, during the first high-level talks between the two countries since Joe Biden became US president.

Meeting face-to-face on the sidelines of the Arctic Council meeting in Iceland, Blinken told Lavrov that Washington sought cooperation with Russia but would respond to any aggression.

"If Russia acts aggressively against us, our partners, our allies, we will respond," he said.

"We seek a predictable, stable relationship with Russia we think that's good for our people, good for the Russian people and indeed good for the world," he added.

The top Russian diplomat for his part said that Moscow was ready to discuss all issues with Washington but called for honesty.

"We are ready to discuss all issues without exception if we understand that discussions will be honest and based on mutual trust," Lavrov told Blinken.

"Our task is to determine how we will build relations further."

Since taking over the White House in January, Biden has taken a strong line against Russia, going as far as describing Vladimir Putin as a "killer" -- in sharp contrast to his predecessor Donald Trump, who was accused of complacency towards the Russian president.

But signs have emerged that the two sides are seeking to appease each other.

Lavrov and Blinken are expected to discuss Washington's proposal to organise a summit between the Russian and US leaders, possibly in June.

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