Remarks With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Osobnyak Guesthouse
Moscow, Russia
May 7, 2013

FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV: (Via interpreter) Secretary of State John Kerry and dear American colleagues, it is our pleasure to welcome you to Moscow. We have a very tight schedule today. The meeting in Kremlin with the President of the Russian Federation is just over. I would like to once again express that we are satisfied with the tone and with the atmosphere of such an expansive dialogue. We (inaudible) Americans (inaudible) to cooperate in a whole range of areas in economics, politics, as well as in global affairs and (inaudible).

I believe that the main outcome of the meeting with the President of the Russian Federation is that – is our mutual desire to overcome the vestige of past times and to strengthen trust, which is the prerequisite for further cooperation. Certainly we have some difficulties remaining, but given such (inaudible) relations, we are going to regularly resolve them all. And after our (inaudible) from mass media, we (inaudible) and at the press conference we are going to announce the outcome of that (inaudible).

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Foreign Minister Lavrov, thank you very, very much. Thank you for a terrific welcome. Thank you for the very serious approach to a number of critical issues between our countries. And I’m particularly grateful to President Putin for the significant amount of time that he devoted to the discussion that we had.

Mr. Minister, I’m privileged to be here right on the eve of the celebration of Victory Day, and we are very mindful of the extraordinary sacrifices of the Russian people in the course of two world wars, particularly the contributions to the victory that came at the end of World War II. We know it’s a big moment in your country, and I’m honored to be here to have met with some of your veterans and then laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (inaudible).

While there have been some disagreements, Mr. Minister, and you referenced them, the truth is that on really important issues to our countries, ranging from START to WTO, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, there’s been a tremendous amount of cooperation on issues of great global consequence.

President Obama looks forward to meeting with President Putin on the sidelines of the G-8 in Ireland, and most of the – Northern Ireland, excuse me. And I’ve come here on his behalf committed to the notion that Russia and the United States can cooperate on some significant challenges that we face now and make a very real contribution to the possibilities of stability and peace in places like the Middle East, Syria, and the other challenges that we face.

So I look forward to continuing our conversation, and hopefully we’ll have more to announce to the press at the end of those conversations. Thank you.

PRN: 2013/T05-03