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Tillerson Talks to Lavrov and Yang Jiechi

Oct. 13, 2017 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a telephone discussion yesterday. Lavrov strongly protested the removal of Russian flags at its diplomatic properties. The Russian Foreign Ministry statement said: "Lavrov said the U.S. authorities order to remove Russian flags from our diplomatic facilities previously seized by them was unacceptable," and "confirmed Moscow’s determination to prepare legal cases in order to return the illegally seized Russian property."

Lavrov also said said that "the U.S. authorities ongoing arbitrariness runs contrary to Washingtons high-level statements expressing willingness to normalize bilateral relations which have hit an unprecedented low."

Commenting on their discussion of the Ukrainian situation, the Russian Foreign Ministry statement said:

"The two top diplomats touched upon the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, taking into account the results of the October 7 meeting between the Russian and U.S. special representatives, Surkov and Volker,"

adding that "the parties expressed their support for continuing meetings in this format." This is a reference to the meeting between Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov and U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker which took place in Belgrade on Oct. 7.

Referring to the discussion on Korea, the statement said: "In an exchange of opinions on the situation on the Korean peninsula, the Russian minister once again called for giving up on heightening tensions and for creating preconditions for a political dialogue."

Tillerson also spoke with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiachi on Thursday, preparing for Trump’s visit to China next month and discussing other issues.