Lavrov: The ABM issue prevents to build a common security space
During his speech at the 49th Munich Security Conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the ABM issue prevents to build a common Euro-Atlantic security space.
"The missile defense problem has become an important test for real actions compliance with solemn declarations of commitment to this key principle... Russia offers a simple and constructive way - to coordinate strong guarantees of the U.S. global missile defense system nondirectionality against any country of the OSCE and to develop clear military-technical criteria to evaluate the ABM systems' compliance with stated objectives: to neutralize missile threats coming from outside the Euro-Atlantic region," said Sergei Lavrov.
In addition, he noted that Moscow stands for the elaboration of joint with the world community approaches to build a security community based on a "true strategic partnership".
According to the results of the meeting with the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden within the conference in Munich, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and the U.S. will continue to cooperate for the benefit of international security, in spite of major differences between the countries.
"Differences in relations between such major powers inevitably remain, and the contradictions are sometimes serious. You all know about them. We will consider crucially any issue in Russian-American relations," said Sergei Lavrov.
Joe Biden also noted that the U.S. sees the potential for cooperation with Russia, "for the benefit of promoting common interests in security, for the benefit of the international community."
Within the Munich Security Conference, Lavrov also met with the UN-Arab League envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, and with the head of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, Mouaz al-Khatib
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry's official comments, the sides have discussed the situation in Syria and the prospects for a political and diplomatic settlement in the country.
"The Russian side expressed support for the efforts of the Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, including within the framework of his "shuttle diplomacy" to find mutually acceptable solutions for the early resolution of the Syrian crisis," the comments notes. According to S.Lavrov, Moscow expects that "realism will prevail" and the Syrian National Coalition will begin negotiations with the Syrian government. "Recently Mouaz al-Khatib has said he supports the initiation of a dialogue with the Syrian government. We welcome this. This is a very important step, given that the coalition was created on a platform of refusing to speak to the regime," Sergei Lavrov stressed.
He also noted that Moscow will not support the creation of a humanitarian corridor in Syria, which would be supported by the air force. "Any use of force (in Syria) is unacceptable," he said.
In addition, the Russian foreign minister said that the Syrian government controls the situation with chemical weapons. "It will be a serious threat if the rebels possess these weapons. But so far the situation does not give grounds for serious concern," said Sergei Lavrov.