Thursday, 22 February, 2018

Moscow ready to act as mediator between US, North Korea, says Kremlin

Russia may have plans to relocated troops from Syria to Egypt Kremlin says Russia open to mediating between US and North Korea to reduce tensions
Andrew Cummings | 27 December, 2017, 02:36

Moscow has long called for the two sides to hold negotiations aimed at reducing tensions over the nuclear and missile program North Korea is pursuing in defiance of years of UN Security Council resolutions.

While new U.S. sanctions against Russian Federation were signed by President Donald Trump back on August 2, the USA administration has yet to implement the aforementioned measures, but will have to meet the deadline that expires on January 29, 2018. Lavrov and Tillerson also discussed bilateral issues, in which tensions increased, particularly after the implementation of various packages of US sanctions against Russian Federation in the recent months.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on December 26 that Moscow was willing to act as a mediator in the row "if both sides need it and want it".

His comments came after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the deep freeze in relations with the US on "the Russophobic hysteria that has afflicted the Washington political establishment".

While Tillerson voiced support for opening diplomatic dialogue between the two states, Trump said he would not take part in any talks with Pyongyang unless the isolated state agreed to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

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Lavrov denounced "Washington's aggressive rhetoric" during a phone call with Tillerson, Reuters reported, citing the Russian foreign ministry.

"The importance of an early transition from the language of sanctions to negotiations was emphasized", the statement outlining the conversation said.

Tillerson and Trump have given mixed messages regarding the administration's stance toward North Korea after Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile late last month.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that Russia is not looking to establish additional overseas military bases for the Russian armed forces, despite rumors to the contrary in Vietnam and Cuba.

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