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22 Jul, 2009 12:47

Lavrov and Clinton meet on sidelines of ASEAN summit

US–Russia relations continue to flourish – this time under the Asian sun. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have met at the ASEAN Regional Forum.

The hour-long meeting on the Thai island of Phuket was held behind closed doors on Wednesday. It dealt with issues following on from the meeting between the Russian and American presidents earlier this month in Moscow.

Russia’s priorities at the ASEAN summit are to discuss cooperation in the fields of energy, science and technology.

Moscow is also concerned about joint efforts to counteract threats in the region, such as North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile tests.

The US Secretary of State’s engagements had been postponed to allow her to recover from surgery for a broken elbow.

Sergey Lavrov and Hillary Clinton have agreed to continue talks on a new treaty for reducing strategic offensive arms, in line with the vision on the issue that emerged from the US and Russia’s recent summit in Moscow.

"We discussed practical tasks that stem from the Moscow summit," Lavrov told a briefing, as quoted by Interfax.

North Korea

The United States is open to normalizing its relations with North Korea if the latter embarks on an irreversible process of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the US secretary of state told a briefing, according to Interfax.

If North Korea does not embark on denuclearization, Clinton added, it will doom itself to further isolation and pressure from the international community.

Clinton also called for the resumption of the six-nation talks on issues caused by the North Korean nuclear program.

Lavrov, in turn, was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying that “Nobody threatens PDRK with additional sanctions.”

“Russia is for compliance with the appropriate resolution by the PDRK,” said the head of Russia’s Foreign Ministry. “We are against threatening it with new sanctions.”


On Iran, Clinton said that the United States would not object if Tehran pursued a civilian nuclear program but that its alleged nuclear weapons program would impair Iran's security instead of strengthening it.