Lavrov, Kerry discuss Iran, Ukraine by phone: Moscow

In a phone conversation Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed Iranian nuclear program and current situation in eastern Ukraine.

MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the recent nuclear talks with Iran and the situation in Ukraine in a phone conversation Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Commenting on the talks in Oman’s capital Muscat, the two top diplomats “expressed the need to reach an all-encompassing agreement allowing to fully normalize situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program in future.”

“During an exchange of opinions about the current situation in southeastern Ukraine, Lavrov made a special emphasis on the priority of creating a sustainable direct dialogue of Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk,” the statement reads.

With the Ukrainian crisis escalating, and the deadline to reach the agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue drawing closer, meetings between Lavrov and Kerry have become more regular and take place nearly every month, with more frequent phone conversations.

Oman hosted the latest round of P5+1 nuclear talks on Iran on Tuesday. The talks, held in the city of Muscat, were also attended by EU envoy Catherine Ashton. The next round of talks is scheduled to take place in Vienna on November 18-24.

The West and Israel have long accused Iran of attempting to develop a nuclear weapon under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, while Tehran argues that its nuclear development is aimed purely at meeting the country’s growing energy needs and achieving other peaceful goals.

In November 2013, during talks held in Geneva, the P5+1 group of international mediators comprising Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Germany agreed to reach a deal with the Tehran delegation guaranteeing the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program by July 2014. The deadline for the agreement was later postponed to November 24, 2014.

While diplomats share similar views on the Iranian nuclear issue, major differences remain in their attitude toward the situation in crisis-torn Ukraine.

The crisis in Ukraine escalated in April, when Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine that refused to recognize the new government, which came to power after a February coup. Following months of bloodshed, a ceasefire agreement was reached by the Ukrainian government and independence supporters on September 5 in Minsk. Despite the truce, the two sides have continued accusing each other of violations.

By Sputnik News



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