Ryabkov: Russia will not make geopolitical deals with U.S. regarding Ukraine and Syria

Moscow, SANA – Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov asserted that Russia won’t make any trades or geopolitical deals with the United States in the context of resolving the crises in Ukraine and Syria.

Answering journalists’ questions on Monday following a meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Ryabkov said that no discussions in this context were made, and that such trades cannot be made because Russia has a firm, clear position regarding Ukraine and Syria which is based on transparency and is not opportunist, nor is this position a commodity or a bargaining chip.

Russian and American experts are holding on Monday a round of consultative talks on Syria in the Russian capital Moscow.

Holding the consultations was agreed on by Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his U.S. counterpart John Kerry last week, as both sides stressed on activating joint work to push forward a political solution for the crisis in Syria.

A Russian special diplomatic source said both sides aim at a deeper and more detailed discussion of the issues related to the political settlement in Syria, Russian media reported.

US State Department also mentioned that the US special envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein visited the Swiss city Geneva, where the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura hold consultations with 40 parties, including representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition groups as well as regional and international countries.

The State Department said after Moscow consultations, Rubinstein will go to Turkey and Saudi Arabia to hold talks on the crisis in Syria with the two countries’ officials and representatives of the Syrian opposition groups there.

Spokesman for the US Embassy in Moscow Will Stevens said the consultations in Moscow may run through Tuesday, May 19, while the talks in Turkey and Saudi Arabia will continue until May 27.

Earlier, Lavrov announced a convergence of views between Moscow and Washington on means to settle the crisis in Syria.

Addressing a press conference with Kerry in Russia’s Sochi, Lavrov said both sides believe that the peaceful process in Syria should be led by the Syrians themselves with all the parties concerned be represented.

Haifa Said / Hazem Sabbagh

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