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Lavrov: Russia Ready To Cooperate With West

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow is ready to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with the West.

Addressing the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, on May 20, Lavrov described U.S. "attempts to support antigovernment forces in Russia" as "destructive" for bilateral relations.

He also said Moscow is hoping that Washington will “use its influence on Kyiv to prevent new military adventures.”

The comments come as relations between Moscow and the West have dropped to their lowest point since the Cold War after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.

Western countries also accuse Russia of backing separatists in Ukraine's east with troops and weapons, which Moscow denies.

During a trip to Brussels on May 19, Lavrov warned the EU against steps that could harm Russian interests, adding that the bloc's relations with its eastern neighbors must not have negative consequences for Moscow.

He issued the warning as EU leaders are set to meet with their counterparts from six eastern countries in Riga this week, amid concern that the meeting could further inflame tensions with Russia.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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