Withdrawal from civil society panel was America’s own decision – Lavrov

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Withdrawal from civil society panel was America’s own decision – Lavrov
Published 28-01-2013, 04:59

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that the decision to quit from the US-Russia Presidential Committee’s working group on civil society was America’s own choice, adding Russia was in no position to change it.

Mr. Lavrov said Russia first learnt about America’s decision to withdraw from the working group from a public announcement of the US State Department’s officials.

"We were notified only orally, no written announcement was submitted to us in this respect,” the minister said at a Moscow press conference.

America’s decision to quit the working group on civil society of the Russian-US bilateral presidential commission will reduce opportunities for a dialogue between the two nations, President Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

He voiced Moscow’s regret over this step. "We can only regret the fact that we are losing this dialogue format, without finding any substitution for it,” Mr. Peskov said.

The US voiced its decision to withdraw from the Russian-US working group on civil society issues, which was set up on the way of Obama’s policy of improving ties with Russia, known as the "reset,” in 2009.

The announcement to this effect was made Friday by Thomas Melia, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Moscow regrets the U.S. decision to quit the bilateral Presidential Commission's working party on civil society.

"We regret whenever a bilateral format is cancelled without an appropriate substitute," presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

The US has made a decision to withdraw from the working group on civil society issues of the Russian-US bilateral presidential commission, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Thomas Melia told Interfax on Friday.

Voice of Russia

 

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