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Lavrov Says Moscow Ready To Work With U.S. On 'Equal' Terms

  • RFE/RL

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) meets with U.S. national security adviser Tom Donilon in Moscow on April 15.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) meets with U.S. national security adviser Tom Donilon in Moscow on April 15.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow is "always open" to cooperation with the United States, but only on terms of equality and noninterference.

Lavrov made the comments at a news conference after meeting in Moscow with U.S. national-security adviser Thomas Donilon on April 15.

Lavrov said Donilon brought a message from U.S. President Barack Obama that will be transmitted to President Vladimir Putin.

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Lavrov said Donilon, along with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during talks last week, had acknowledged what he called the "serious and irritating effect" of recent developments in bilateral relations.

Lavrov cited the U.S. Magnitsky list of sanctions targeting Russian officials tied to the 2009 death in custody of whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and the deaths of several Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens.

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Most of the 18 on what's been dubbed the "Magnitsky list" are suspected of links to the prosecution of Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow jail in 2009 after nearly a year of pretrial custody.

On April 13, Moscow responded by naming 18 Americans barred from Russia, most of them accused of violating the rights of Russians in the United States.

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On April 14, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the Magnitsky List a direct interference in Russian affairs.

Neither Washington nor Moscow put high-ranking or politically prominent figures on their lists in what analysts say may be an attempt to limit the political damage.

Lavrov also mentioned the deaths of Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens. The death in January of three-year-old Max Shatto, born Maksim Kuzmin, in Texas sparked a bilateral crisis after Russian officials accused his adoptive parents of "murder."

Russia suspended the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens in January following several similar cases. Americans have adopted more than 60,000 Russian children since the collapse of the Soviet Union

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and ITAR-TASS
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