Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions following his talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, New York, September 27, 2015
Question: Mr Lavrov, are you in good spirits?
Sergey Lavrov: Yes. We’re always in good spirits when we have work to do, and we always have it.
I just met with Secretary of State John Kerry to prepare for a meeting of our presidents tomorrow. We spoke at length about Syria and also Ukraine. We provided an analytical report to our American colleagues comparing the Minsk 2 agreements verbatim and a review of the practical implementation. Mr Kerry said he would read the document before our presidents meet to prepare President Barack Obama for a serious discussion.
Question: Did you coordinate the Russian and US positions on Syria?
Sergey Lavrov: I believe our positions are fairly close. John Kerry has reaffirmed that the only goal of the United States and the coalition it has created is to fight terrorism, primarily ISIS. This is also our goal. The only thing we haven’t agreed on yet are our steps towards this common objective. We believe that actions should only be taken under UN Charter, with the agreement of the concerned countries and with support from the UN Security Council. The United States believes that its coalition doesn’t need UNSC approval. In our opinion, this runs counter to international law.
We want to work together, to join the efforts of our diplomatic and defence departments. In my opinion, the more often or regularly professionals discuss the issues concerned, the sooner we’ll resolve this formidable problem facing all of us. Mr Kerry and I pin our hopes on the meeting between our presidents tomorrow. I hope we’ll talk openly and find the path forward.