Comments and statements by Foreign Ministry Spokesman

5 April 201717:00

Comment by the Information and Press Department on US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's upcoming visit to Russia

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will come to Moscow on a working visit on April 11–12. This will be his first visit to our country as US Secretary of State.

At the initiative of the former Washington authorities, Russia-US relations plunged into deep crisis in recent years. We have a positive view of the willingness expressed by the new US leadership to improve the situation, but we are proceeding based on the idea that actions speak louder than words. For our part, we are open to cooperation in various areas based on the principles of equality, non-interference in internal affairs and respect for each other's interests.

The talks between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will focus on important issues of international security facing the international community, such as fighting terrorism, primarily ISIS and other terrorist groups that have seized a portion of the Syrian territory, resolving the Syrian, Palestinian-Israeli, Yemeni, Libyan, Afghan and other conflicts and de-escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula. All of that requires our countries to join their efforts. The situation in Ukraine will also be discussed, with an emphasis on the need for Kiev to fulfil its obligations under the Minsk Agreements. Arms control may be discussed as well.

The parties will focus on the need to eliminate the numerous irritants from our bilateral relations, such as the arrest of Russian citizens by US special services in third countries, violating the rights of Russian foster children in the United States and creating artificial difficulties for our diplomats as they go about their official duties. Expanding trade and investment ties, and promoting cultural, scientific, sport and other exchanges, are also important.

We look forward to this visit by the new US Secretary of State helping set Russia-US relations on a trajectory of sustainable development, and improving the level of mutual understanding. This would be in the interests of not only our respective nations but the entire world, and would contribute to strengthening global stability.

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