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Lavrov and Blinken To Meet in Reykjavik on May 20, Discuss Possible Biden-Putin Meeting in June

May 13, 2021 (EIRNS)—The Russian Foreign Ministry announced yesterday that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke by phone on May 12, and agreed to meet in Reykjavik, Iceland, on May 20, on the sidelines of the Arctic Council Ministerial both will attend. “The sides discussed the timeline of other Russian-U.S. contacts for the upcoming period, including Washington’s proposal on the organization of the Russia-U.S. summit,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement. They also “exchanged opinions on approaches to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the 2015 Iran nuclear arrangement], and reviewing tasks on strategic stability,” the statement read.

The Arctic Council statement points out that the Ministerial “provides an opportunity to review the Council’s activities and accomplishments under Iceland’s Chairmanship. It will also see the Russian Federation assume the role for the next two years.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters yesterday that Moscow is carefully examining the U.S. proposals on a summit between the Russian and American Presidents, Sputnik reported, and that Ryabkov stated that Moscow is always open to dialogue and believes that such a meeting is crucial both politically and diplomatically.

The State Department read-out on the call only reported that Blinken and Lavrov had agreed to meet in Reykjavik, and stating:

“Secretary Blinken reiterated President Biden’s resolve to protect U.S. citizens and act firmly in defense of U.S. interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies.... The Secretary provided the Minister an overview of U.S. policy toward the D.P.R.K. [North Korea], and the two committed to continued discussion on issues of mutual concern.”

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