Russia's FM Lavrov announces new Volker-Surkov meeting soon
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced that a new meeting between U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov will take place "in the foreseeable future."
Lavrov announced the meeting at a press conference with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic in Sochi, an UNIAN correspondent in Russia said.
"Our contacts with the United States concern many issues, including Syria and Ukraine. Those on Syria are more active, while a dialogue on Ukraine proceeds in the Volker-Surkov format, they exchange views of the situation and plan, as I understand it, a meeting in the foreseeable future," Lavrov said.
He recalled that they had earlier met in Belgrade.
Lavrov blamed the Ukrainian authorities for the lack of progress in the settlement of the Donbas crisis, as they "fail to meet their obligations under the Minsk agreements."
"Of course, it is clear to everyone that sanctions against Russia were imposed neither because of Syria, nor because of Ukraine, or Crimea, or anything else, but because of the desire to use methods of unfair competition, promote an absolutely useless containment policy vis-à-vis the Russian Federation," he added.
In his words, "certain political circles in the United States have made relations with Russia a bargaining chip in the internal political struggle inside the U.S."
As UNIAN reported, Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 13 again appointed Surkov as his aide. The Kremlin said that Surkov would continue to supervise Russian-occupied Donbas as a representative of the Russian president's administration.
The latest meeting of Surkov and Volker took place in Dubai on January 26, 2018. Prior to that, they had met three times: in Minsk (Belarus) on August 21, 2017, in Belgrade (Serbia) on October 7 and on November 13.