Lavrov: Russia, US Confirm Common Interest on Fight against Terrorism, Stress Support for Astana Talks on Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is ready to support Syrian talks in Astana aiming at political settlement to crisis in Syria.

"Tillerson expressed willingness to support this process [peace negotiations on Syria in Astana]," Lavrov said, Sputnik reported.

Speaking to journalists after a meeting with his US counterpart in the German city of Bonn, Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and the US confirmed common interest on fight against terrorism.

"We have confirmed the existence of common interests… especially regarding the uncompromising fight against terrorism, in this context and in the context of a political settlement, and in what relates to cooperation on the Syrian crisis, on other regional countries where terrorism has taken its roots," Lavrov said.

The Russian top diplomat also said that the meeting with Rex Tillerson was productive.

 Moscow ready to establish contacts with the US, Lavrov said.

"We agreed that we would continue contacts. We will have a number of opportunities [to do so] within the next few months," Lavrov said after talks with Tillerson in Bonn.

We assume that Trump-Putin meeting will take place, he added.

"We will proceed from the fact that, when the presidents find it possible, a meeting between President Putin and President Trump will take place," Lavrov told reporters.

However, the two diplomats did not discuss anti-Russian sanctions.

"The issue of sanctions has not been discussed. We do not discuss sanctions, we believe that this is an anomaly, and those who resorted to sanctions should, in general, assess for themselves how effective it is, to which extent it corresponds to the normal communication between the states. And to which extent the artificial desire to politicize this issue meets the interests of the states that resort to this," Lavrov told reporters.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary Rex Tillerson met Thursday on the sidelines of the G20 forum in Bonn to discuss the prospects of Russia-US relations, a Sputnik correspondent reports.

It is the first personal high-ranking contact between Russian and Trump administration officials.

"We have many issues to discuss. Primarily, these are topics previously discussed in a phone call between our presidents. I hope that we can outline parameters of our future work on each of these issues," Lavrov said ahead of the meeting.