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Lavrov Delivers a Message to Tillerson: Does the U.S. Want an Improvement of Relations with Russia, Or Not?

June 23, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Russian Foreign Ministry summary of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s conversation yesterday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson—a call initiated by Tillerson according to the Russian account—makes clear that the Russian government drew the line, after the combination of the imposition of yet more sanctions against Russian individuals and companies on June 20 by Steven Mnuchin’s Treasury Department, and the U.S. shoot-down of a Syrian fighter jet in Syria two days earlier.

Lavrov’s call with Tillerson followed Russia’s cancellation of the meeting of U.S. and Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers, scheduled to be held today.

The Foreign Ministry statement speaks for itself:

"While discussing the prospects of bilateral dialogue, Mr. Lavrov described as ‘delusional’ the attempts to exert pressure on Russia with sanctions as Washington did again on June 20. Such actions subject to serious risk the entire range of Russian-U.S. relations that are already going through a difficult time.

"Under the circumstances and in order to assess the situation, the Russian side felt compelled to suspend the meeting scheduled for June 23, at which Deputy Foreign Ministers were supposed to discuss the problems that have accumulated in Russian-U.S. relations. Mr Lavrov emphasised that Moscow was waiting for a response to its proposals to Washington on normalising bilateral relations.

"During the discussion of international issues, Mr Lavrov reaffirmed Moscow’s assessment of the actions of the U.S.-led coalition that violated the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, making it more difficult to suppress terrorism and impeding the settlement of the Syrian crisis. Moscow is calling on Washington to strictly observe the earlier agreements on various aspects of the Syrian settlement process.

"The officials also reviewed the situation in south-eastern Ukraine, in particular, the need for additional efforts to fully implement the Minsk Agreements."

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