Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with US Vice President Joseph Biden on the sidelines of the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
The meeting passed in quite an informal and friendly atmosphere, an Interfax correspondent reported. Lavrov asked Biden when new Secretary of State John Kerry is supposed to officially take the office.
"On Monday," Biden replied. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday officially denied reports alleging that Lavrov, Biden, UN/Arab League Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and Syrian opposition coalition leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib were planning a four-sided meeting at the Munich Security Conference.
"Reports that talks are being prepared in Munich between Lavrov, Biden, Brahimi, and Syrian opposition representative al-Khatib are untrue," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov tweeted on Friday.
"No such meetings figure on the foreign minister's program for now," Gatilov said.
Some Western media reported earlier, citing sources in the National Coalition for Opposition Forces and the Syrian Revolution, that talks between Lavrov, Biden, Brahimi and al-Khatib could be held on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
Russia sees nothing extraordinary in the fact that it has disagreements with the US, and it is willing to narrow them through equitable and respectful dialogue with Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"Our agenda is quite substantive and positive, but disagreements and differences still remain in relations between such major powers," Lavrov said at the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
"We will take a principled approach to any issue in Russian-US relations that is supposed to be agreed upon, and we will be guided by principles of mutual respect, equitability, and mutual consideration of each other's interests," Lavrov said.
"We will certainly work together on issues on which we can work to benefit our countries and international security. We are already working," he said.
The US' willingness to settle disagreements with its partners in a peaceful way demonstrates this country's responsible approach toward its foreign policy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"President Barack Obama said in his inaugural speech that the US would seek to resolve disagreements with other countries in a peaceful way, and not because of naivety but because joint work is the most reliable way to eliminate suspicions and fear," Lavrov said at the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
"This very responsible approach based on strict respect for international law is what Russia invariably adheres to in its foreign policy," Lavrov said. "We expect reciprocity," Lavrov said.
Moscow continues to seek binding guarantees that no American missile defence installation will create a security threat to a European country.
It believes any installation of this kind can only be allowed to be targeted at missiles coming from a rogue state located outside the Euro-Atlantic area.
Speaking at the Munich security conference Saturday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also urged NATO to clarify its mission in the post-Cold-War world, realize that Russia is not the Soviet Union and stop treating Russia as a threat. He regretted the fact that NATO builds much of its military planning around this false premise.
The stereotype of a Russian threat hampers the establishment of real partnership between Russia and NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"Progress toward genuine partnership between Russia and the North Atlantic alliance is still being hampered by attempts to exploit the Soviet threat idea, which has turned into the Russian threat idea now.
Both are viable," Lavrov said at the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
"Even during a shortage of financial resources, we can see increasing military activities in the north and the center of Europe, as if threats to security were growing in these regions," he said.
Lavrov also criticized NATO's plans to further enlarge eastwards, "as if there have been no declarations at the top level that the preservation of dividing lines on the continent is detrimental."
"Our proposals on how to make the principle of indivisible security, which has been repeatedly declared in political documents by the OSCE and the Russia-NATO Council, legally binding and practically working remain on the table," he said.
Russia deems unacceptable the use of force for resolving the nuclear problem of Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"The use of military force against Iran is an unacceptable option," Lavrov said at the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
Lavrov supported German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's proposal that "this issue be approached not only in the context of the nuclear problem of Iran but also in the context of regional security."
Russia has proposed in its contacts with the Gulf countries over the past several years that the six powers negotiating with Iran on settling the nuclear problem, the UN, the EU, Iran's neighbors and Iran itself consider convening a joint security conference.
"This proposal remains on the table," Lavrov said. "We should persuade Iran that we are not talking about the change of the regime, because unilateral sanctions are not about nonproliferation but exactly about the change of the regime. And this is how this mistrust could be overcome," he said.
Russia believes the tragic situation in Syria could have been averted if all world powers had complied with the decisions of last June’s Geneva conference on Syria.
Speaking at the international security conference in Munich Saturday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also argued that the fallout of the ‘Arab Spring’ must be tackled realistically, responsibly and without the use of force.
History, Mr Lavrov said, is offering difficult choices, which cannot be made unilaterally, as if they were a zero-sum game. Russia, he pointed out, believes that only international collectivism can be of help.
He also warned instability mongers that their action will boomerang.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is experiencing a crisis because it is trying to impose its own standards on others, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"We are talking about the future of the pan-European organization, the OSCE, disagreements in which are growing because of attempts to impose its own standards on others and turn it into a forum for polemics and confrontation, which can only worsen its systemic crisis," Lavrov said at the 49th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
"There is a need for consolidating projects that would cement the European space and help reach a consensus on fundamental security issues," he said.
"I would hope that it is possible by 2015 to work out a truly common agenda reflecting not exchange of criticism but our common determination to focus on resolving common strategic issues through practically implementing the principle of indivisibility of security," Lavrov said.
He said the chance for this still exists. Lavrov pointed out that the participants in a ministerial OSCE meeting in Dublin last December decided to launch the Helsinki +40 process.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged the world community to reach agreement on shoring up democratic reforms in different countries without imposing external rules on these countries.
When addressing the ongoing international conference on security in Munich, he said that the Euro-Atlantic nations boast quite a few unifiers with regard to ultimate goals and efforts to settle various crises, according to the Voice of Russia correspondent.
All these nations want stability to rule supreme in the Near and Middle East, and North of Africa; they want the regional nations to advance towards democracy, as well as to have human rights guaranteed there.
Lavrov, besides, called for an agreement to abstain from external interference, especially an interference involving the use of force, without a UN Security Council mandate, as well as to abstain from slapping unilateral sanctions arbitrarily.
The Munich Conference on Security Policy that kicks off in Munich later today will focus on ways to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
According to the Voice of Russia correspondents, the participants will take up Iran’s nuclear programme, the situation around North Korea’s preparations for an underground nuclear test, as well as the situation in Syria and Mali.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will address the conference to set forth Moscow’s stance on international security problems, including the ways to settle the Middle East and North Africa crises.
Lavrov has been scheduled to meet the US Vice President Joseph Biden and the UN and Arab Leaguer special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will take part in the 49th Security Conference in Munich, ministry’s spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has said.
Mr. Lukashevich pointed out it’s become traditional for the Russian foreign chief to visit the Munich security forum.
This year, he is going to advocate the idea of an integral security zone within the Euro-Atlantic space. The minister is also planning to hold several bilateral talks.
The security panel will run from 1-3 February in the capital of Bavaria in southern Germany.