The head of American diplomacy has characterized us-Russian relations as “bad”
U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson acknowledged the bad state of us-Russian relations, but denied the opportunity to do business with Moscow as usual, until a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine.
Such a grim assessment, which Tillerson shared the article in the New York Times, contrasted with a more positive opinion which was expressed earlier this week by the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov denied the emergence of a new “iron curtain” separating the two countries.
As Lavrov said in an interview with Russian news Agency RIA Novosti, the contacts between the presidents of Russia and the USA in recent times are “quite intensive” and, as a rule, not confined to one subject, and cover a wide range of bilateral and international issues.
Lavrov also stressed that he and Tillerson regularly discuss key issues of Russian-American agenda, and most relevant of them separately conducted expert consultations at the working level.
Tillerson, however, was not so optimistic as his Russian counterpart.
“As for Russia, we are not building any illusions about the regime with which we are dealing, – he wrote. – Today, the United States has bad relations with the rising power of Russia, which over the last ten years has invaded its neighbors, Georgia and Ukraine, and undermines the sovereignty of Western countries meddling in our elections.”
According to Tillerson, the appointment of former Ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker, special representative for Ukraine reflects the U.S. commitment to the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country.
“In the absence of a peaceful settlement of the situation in Ukraine, which should begin with the observance by Russia of the Minsk agreements with Russia to conduct business as usual impossible,” – said Tillerson.
Tillerson said about the US willingness to cooperate with Russia on Syria, but insisted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in the end, should be removed from power. Moscow strongly opposes this requirement.
“Although we are vigilant against Russian aggression, we recognize the need to work with Russia where our mutual interests intersect,” said U.S. Secretary of state.
“The most obvious manifestation of this was Syria, he added. – Now that President Vladimir Putin has committed itself in UN-supported Geneva political process in securing a new future for Syria, we expect that Russia will fulfill them. We are confident that the implementation of these negotiations will result in a Syria in which there would be no Bashar al-Assad and his family.”
On the topic of North Korea, Tillerson reiterated that the U.S. plans to intensify pressure on this isolated country, in order to force her to start talks on giving up nuclear weapons.
He recalled that this year the UN Security Council unanimously adopted three of the toughest sanctions resolution in history, including the prohibition of a wide spectrum of North Korean exports, including coal, iron, seafood and textiles.
As a result, said Tillerson, North Korea has lost approximately 90 percent of export earnings, much of which went to the financing of works on creation of illegal weapons.
“We hope that such international isolation will cause the regime to start serious negotiations to abandon its programs to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, he said. – The door to dialogue remains open but we say clearly that the regime must earn a return to the negotiating table. While denuclearization is not going to happen, the pressure will increase”.
Tillerson also demanded that Pakistan contributed to the international fight against terrorism, confronting the terrorist groups in its territory.
“We are ready to partner with Pakistan to combat terrorist organizations that are seeking refuge, but Pakistan must demonstrate a desire to join in partnership with us,” – said the head of American diplomacy.