Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Vice President Joseph Biden© AFP 2013/ Christof Stache
MOSCOW, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow hopes the United States will take no more steps that would affect bilateral relations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden in Munich on Saturday.
“We have drawn the vice president’s attention to the fact that there have been steps on their part that have provoked a rather sharp reaction in our public opinion,” Lavrov said.
“We hope there will be no more cause for that.”
There have always been problems in Russian-US relations and they should be addressed on the basis of equality while “seeking to avoid the creation of any contrived problems,” Lavrov said.
He also said the US new secretary of state, John Kerry, will visit Russia.
“Biden has confirmed that John Kerry has received my invitation to visit Russia and is planning to do that soon,” Lavrov said.
It has also been agreed that National Security Advisor Tom Donilon will visit Russia “in the very near future,” Lavrov said.
“The timeframe has yet to be set. They [Americans] would like that to happen this month,” the minister said.
Late last year, Washington angered the Russian government by introducing the so-called Magnitsky Act, a law imposing sanctions against Russian officials suspected of human rights abuses. The law was named after Sergei Magnitsky, a whistleblowing lawyer who died in a Moscow jail in 2009.
Russia responded by banning US citizens from adopting Russian children and prohibiting politically active Russian nongovernmental organizations from accepting financing from the United States.
In Late January Russia scrapped a decade-old agreement with the US that had granted Moscow financial aid to fight crime, including drug trafficking and announced the decision to ban US beef and pork imports containing the feed additive ractopamine, a move Washington believes could undermine bilateral ties, a spokeswoman for the White House’s chief trade adviser said Thursday.
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Russia has surged ahead on the foreign policy stage, but this is not enough to remain a great power. The tough-minded policies and masterful diplomacy of Russia’s leadership have maximized the country’s position in the world, and are now the main source of its international influence and prestige. Russia’s foreign policy in the next decade depends entirely on what happens at home.