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Lavrov Opposes Internationalization of South China Sea Dispute

April 13, 2016 (EIRNS)—Prior to departing for a visit to China, Japan, and Mongolia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Chinese media in Moscow that all attempts to "internationalize" the dispute over the South China Sea must be stopped, and he urged external players to stop interfering in the negotiations among those involved. He said:

“We believe that all countries involved in the disputes should follow the principles of non-use of force, and continue seeking mutually acceptable political and diplomatic solutions,”

the BRICS Post reported today.

Lavrov also said,

“I am convinced that they [attempts to internationalize the issue] are completely counterproductive. Only negotiations, which China and the ASEAN are pursuing, can bring the desired result; namely, mutually acceptable agreements.”

Responding to Lavrov’s statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said

“China has highly appreciated the Russian Foreign Minister’s statement,” Sputnik reported today. Any attempts to influence the situation by countries not involved in regional disputes are nonconstructive, Lu added.

Today, Lu condemned a statement by the G7 foreign ministers, who yesterday voiced "strong opposition" to coercive unilateral actions undermining the status quo in the South and East China Seas disputes, and urged all sides to refrain from land reclamation and any construction work in disputed areas, Sputnik reported.

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