Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 83 Astral Silver 280 SL
Location: Planet Houston
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Report: Russian official laments ties with U.S.
Foreign minister quoted saying United States may be âmost difficultâ partner
Updated: 7:52 p.m. CT Feb 4, 2007
MOSCOW - Russiaâs foreign minister said the United States was perhaps Moscowâs âmost difficultâ partner and urged Washington to learn from its mistakes on the world stage, according to a news report on Sunday.
Sergey Lavrov also blamed Washington for impasses in the Middle East, suggesting the U.S. approach there was too confrontational, Interfax news agency reported.
âLike any other country, we are interested in having good, smooth, clear relations with the United Statesâ but it is ânot easy,â Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying in an interview on state-run television.
While Moscow and Washington have been able to âachieve mutually acceptable resultsâ on many issues, the United States âis not an easy partner at all â probably the most difficult partner,â he said.
The remarks reflected the troubled ties between the former Cold War foes, despite avowals of common aims on matters such as terrorism and weapons proliferation. Relations have been strained by disagreements over an array of international issues as well as Russiaâs record on democracy under President Vladimir Putin.
Russia sharply criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq and has sought to counter what it has suggested are Washingtonâs uncompromising positions on the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea.
Lavrov repeated criticism he made in Washington last week, when he rebuked the Bush administration for its resistance to diplomacy with certain Middle East governments. He suggested the U.S. was being shortsighted by not engaging countries that could help resolve problems in Iraq, Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
âThe Middle East settlement has been suspended because, despite our position and the position of the European Union, Washington has conducted policy based on the principle, âHe who is not with us is against us,ââ Lavrov said.
âToo much potential for crisisâ
He said the United States was isolating Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah even though they were âkey actors in solving the Middle East puzzle.â
The U.S. State Department said it had not seen Lavrovâs remarks and declined to comment.
Lavrov said Moscow has been frank with Washington when it questions U.S. foreign policy, and that the United States should learn from its experiences.
âToo much potential for crisis has built up in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan,â he said.
The foreign minister also said relations were far less positive at lower levels than between Putin and President Bush.
âIn spite of the mutual respect of the presidents and their readiness to accept the sovereign decisions of the other side, the situation looks entirely different at other levels of the executive branch,â he said.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address