MOSCOW. Feb 2 (Interfax) – The United States’ new secretary of state, John Kerry, expects to visit Russia soon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.
“(U.S. Vice President Joe) Biden confirmed that Kerry has received my invitation and expects to make use of it soon,” Lavrov told reporters aboard an aircraft on his way back to Moscow from Munich, where he had attended an international security conference.
Lavrov had a meeting with Biden on the fringes of the conference.
In comments on Russian-American relations, Lavrov argued that there are bound to be, and there will always be, problems between such large countries. “They should be dealt with on the basis of equality and respect for each other’s interests, and one should avoid artificially creating problems,” he said.
Lavrov said he had pointed out to Biden that some of the United States’ recent moves “have been seen as quite exacerbated in our public opinion.”
“We hope that there won’t be any more reason for that,” the minister said.
At the same time, the two nations have a lot that brings them together, for example “combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime, and the situation in Afghanistan,” he said, calling for closer cooperation between the two countries on those issues.
In a comment on the Afghanistan issue, Lavrov said: “It is important for us to understand the nature of transition from the current mission led by NATO to the new international presence in Afghanistan after 2014.”
“On this point, there was also complete realization of the need to closely, transparently discuss and seek agreement,” he said.
Lavrov said he felt that both Moscow and Washington believe that, “on an overwhelming majority of international problems, it’s very difficult to get anything done without Russia and the United States.”
However, “Russia always has its own independent position,” the minister said.