Lavrov: Russia wants better U.S. relations

Jan. 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Russia hopes to improve relations with the United States, but won't hesitate to retaliate if necessary, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

"Of course we will retaliate for unfriendly acts, but at the core of our position is the development of Russian-American links in all fields, including in the international arena," he said during a news conference on Russian foreign policy.

Lavrov said relations with the United States remain a key priority in maintaining security and for global stability, RIA Novosti reported.

"We are interested in constructive dialogue, in the development of stable, mutually beneficial cooperation, particularly in investment, in economic and trade relations and personal contacts," he said.

He said the "reset" in relations between Russia and the United States, initiated by Washington during U.S. President Obama's first term, cannot last forever because it would become a "system error," RIA Novosti said

"If this is a computer term, everyone should realize that an ongoing 'reset' is a failure of the system and the system is frozen," Lavrov said.

The missile defense system in Europe remains an obstacle, Lavrov said, because the United States has undertaken construction of the defense shield without considering Russia's position.

The minister said he plans to meet with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during the Munich Security Conference in February.

"I hope to meet with the directors of the U.S delegation ... Vice President Joe Biden is so far planning to attend," Lavrov said. "We will make sure to speak about all the issues at hand and to see how we can develop our relationship."

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