Lavrov and Kerry will meet for the first time this year in Zurich, will discuss Syria, Ukraine, DPRK

Lavrov and Kerry will meet for the first time this year in Zurich, will discuss Syria, Ukraine, DPRK


MOSCOW, January 20. The Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry will hold Wednesday in Zurich the first of this year’s negotiations. Traditional agenda, including Syria, Ukraine and Iran, added the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

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“Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry will discuss bilateral relations between Russia and the US, Syria, Ukraine, North Korea, other topics, said Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Mikhail Bogdanov. – There are many issues which are of mutual interest for Washington and Moscow”.

The arrangement of the meeting reached after telephone conversation of presidents of Russia and USA Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama.

In the period from mid December to January the heads of depodesta 4 times talked on the phone. Last personal meeting was held on 18 December 2015 in the framework of the new York meeting of the support Group Syria, on the same day the UN security Council adopted resolution 2254, fixing the outcome of the consultation in the “Vienna format” (the first meeting of the support Group of ATS were 30 October and 14 November 2015 – approx.TASS).

Zurich “preparing” Geneva

The main focus at the moment is riveted to Syria in the context of the scheduled for 25 January in Geneva mezhsiriyskih consultations.

The Geneva round is provided by UN security Council resolution 2254, whereby within six months after the start of negotiations in Syria should be a transitional government and initiated the drafting of a new Constitution, according to which not later than 18 months will be “free and fair elections”. The document also stipulates that a ceasefire will come into force immediately after the Syrian government and the opposition will begin a process of political transition.

“As for Syria, Ministers will discuss all issues of the Syrian settlement in accordance with resolution (UNSC) 2254 – said Bogdanov. Is and issues of establishing an inter-Syrian negotiations, and the fight against terrorism, political process, humanitarian situation. Will talk and terrorist lists”.

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“The main thing now: if we were aiming for January 25 as the beginning of Syrian peace talks, then we must solve the problems remaining unresolved, the Deputy Minister said. – I hope that in time meet, because it is necessary to implement the resolution. It says that in January to begin negotiations.”

Start of inter-Syrian political process is currently stalled: not agreed lists of the opposition and terrorists in Syria, the latter should be excluded from negotiations. A number of external players desperately trying to make lists of constructive adjustments: to include-and, conversely, to exclude “strangers”.

Moscow with such approach categorically do not agree: negotiations should be inclusive. According to Deputy foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, a number of opposition members will not support the decision on the RAA, if they will exclude from the process. “Otherwise, it’s just hard to rely on solutions that could be adopted during the negotiation process, will be executed by all parties,” he said following consultations the Russia-U.S.-UN in Geneva on 13 January. Movement in the direction of making the list of the opposition not yet, said the Gatilov.

In addition, Russia insists on the exclusion from consultations of groups such as “Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-sham”. “No “Ahrar al-sham” or “Jaish al-Islam” we do not see among the delegation of the opposition, as it is a terrorist organization – said Gatilov. – Believe that the opposition delegation should be represented not by terrorist representatives, and those forces that are actually advocate a political solution. These two organizations are preachers of a military solution”.

Lavrov and Kerry are expected to discuss the situation within the Group support Syria. Disagreements between Saudi Arabia and Iran, resulting in Riyadh broke diplomatic relations with Tehran, does not add optimism, although the parties and assured that it will not affect the work in “Vienna” format.

Do not bypass the Ministers and the humanitarian situation in Syria, in some areas this is a true plight, for example, hunger in the city of Madai. Experts fear that the humanitarian issue in which external actors have accused Damascus exclusively, can disrupt the inter-Syrian negotiations.

Ukraine: the fate of the “Minsk-2”

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Although the USA have nothing to do with the Normandy format, but believe it is possible to determine who and how performs the Minsk agreement. In Kiev and then we hear the statement: they say it’s time for the “Minsk-3”. Such calls are quite clear: the Ukrainian authorities have not fulfilled any one of the points of agreements, because new “initiative” is the best way to divert attention.

In Russia emphasize that the agreements of 12 February 2015 will need to comply fully, point by point. According to Sergei Lavrov, U.S. and European partners are in no hurry to remind Kiev of its obligations under the “Minsk-2”.

To increase the representation of Russia in the framework of the contact group (permanent member of security Council of Russia Boris Gryzlov was appointed Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in the contact group – ed.) says a sincere desire of Moscow to settle the internal conflict.

Probably, the head of depodesta will consider the results of the meeting on 15 January in Kaliningrad, the Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and the assistant Secretary on Affairs of Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland.

Iran: the cycle of sanctions

News January 16, did not have time to “cool off” from the lightnings, announce the lifting of sanctions with Iran, as the United States, apparently for the sake of “political face”, announced new restrictive measures against Tehran, now the missile program. At the time, also acted inconsistently Washington against Russia. Only repealing the amendment of Jackson-Vanik, the United States hastened to compose “the list Magnitsky”.

North Korea: will sanctions

The world community is actively discussing the test of the DPRK in early January of the hydrogen bomb. The US, putting under doubt the fact of holding it thermonuclear explosion, especially insist on the introduction of new UN security Council sanctions against Pyongyang.

However, Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry is expected to discuss this issue as well.