Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
On October 12, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke over the phone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the latter’s initiative.
The officials discussed the situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme, which was approved by the UN Security Council in 2015. Mr Lavrov said that Tehran is abiding by all of its JCPOA commitments and emphasised the need for other co-authors to adhere to the plan.
They discussed ways of facilitating the settlement of the conflict in Syria, in particular, by ensuring stable functioning of the de-escalation zones and taking measures to prevent actions that objectively play into the hands of terrorists and lead to the country’s division. Mr Lavrov mentioned the continued attempts to block a professional inquiry by the UN and OPCW into all circumstances of the April incident linked with the use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun.
Discussing the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Russian minister again called for an end to the escalation of tensions and for prerequisites for political dialogue to be created.
The officials reviewed the implementation of the Minsk agreements on overcoming the Ukrainian crisis, taking into account the results of the meeting of Russian special representative Vladislav Surkov and his US counterpart Kurt Volker on October 7. They expressed support for continuing contacts in this format.
Mr Lavrov described as unacceptable the actions of the US authorities that ordered Russian national flags to be torn down from the diplomatic property they had seized earlier, and reaffirmed Moscow’s intention to prepare legal action with a view to returning the illegally withdrawn Russian property. Mr Lavrov emphasised that the continued arbitrary conduct of US officials directly contradicts Washington’s declared intention to normalise bilateral relations that have reached an unprecedented low.