Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo) (OSCE)
December 19, 2006 -- Russia's Interfax news agency quotes Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as voicing his support for a draft UN Security Council resolution that would punish Iran for failing to meet international demands regarding its nuclear activities.
Lavrov earlier spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice by telephone in a bid to resolve differences on the proposed resolution.
In Washington, the U.S. State Department said on December 19 that Washington wants a UN Security Council vote this week imposing sanctions on Iran.
Russia, which has close ties to Iran, has objected to earlier drafts aimed at pressuring Iran to halt its uranium enrichment work. But Interfax today quotes Lavrov as saying the current draft "largely reflects our approach." He said that the proposed resolution may persuade Iran to cooperate with the demands of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, has objected to U.S.-backed proposals for an international travel ban on some Iranian officials, and a freeze on overseas financial assets of individuals and companies linked to Iranian nuclear and missile programs.
(compiled from agency reports)
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