Russian FM Sergei Lavrov sees glimmer of hope in Anthony Blinken's eyes

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he had a constructive conversation with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, which took place in Reykjavik on May 19.

"The conversation seemed constructive to me. We understand the need to overcome the unhealthy situation that has developed in the relations between Moscow and Washington during the previous years," the minister said.

According to him, there are many "obstructions" in the relations between Russia and the United States, and it is not easy to "clean them up". Yet, Lavrov noted that he could see that Blinken and his team were determined to work in this direction. 

“We will not be found wanting,” he said, adding that Moscow was ready to consider and resolve any issues on the bilateral agenda, including regional and global problems, conflicts and crises. According to him, during the meeting the parties touched upon the topic of Russia's diplomatic "presence" in the United States and vice versa. 

"The vicious circle was started by former US President Obama. When leaving the White House, in fact, our diplomatic property in the US was confiscated in hostile takeovers. Russian diplomats and their families were expelled in an inappropriate, rude manner. We were exercising patience for  a long time. We thought that the Trump administration would revise those decisions, but it did not happen. On the contrary, in 2017 the US made new anti-Russian, anti-diplomatic decisions. Then we were forced to respond. This chain reaction does not suit anyone. I could feel that our American colleagues had the same feeling. We will prepare proposals for our presidents on these issues, as well as on the development of a dialogue on strategic stability. This is a key task, the solution of which worries most states in the international community," Lavrov said.

Lavrov and Blinken also agreed to make US-Russian joint actions on regional conflicts, where the interests of Russia and the United States coincide, more effective. AMong many other things, it goes about policies in relation to Afghanistan, the Iranian nuclear program and the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula.

"I think it was a very useful conversation. We will report to our presidents," Lavrov said, expressing a hope that the heads of Russia and the USA would "determine further ways of common efforts to improve the obviously unhealthy situation in bilateral relations."