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27 Jan, 2010 16:05

“We can’t wait for positive Iranian reply forever” – Russian foreign minister

The international community cannot wait forever for a positive reply from Tehran over its nuclear program, Sergey Lavrov said after talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Russian foreign minister stressed that Iran's nuclear program remains “an important topic in Russia-US relations.”

"We are disappointed that Iran has not responded constructively to the proposals made by the Three plus Three [five permanent members of UN Security Council and Germany],” Lavrov said.

"We agreed to continue to push for positive response to these proposals. But it is clear that we can’t wait forever, and our partners have already spoken about the need to discuss the additional measures of reaching the goals set by the world community in the steps the UN Security Council,” he added.

Political analyst Vladimir Kozin believes imposing sanctions on Iran might prove to be efficient, but only if they are carefully calibrated and based upon the consent of all parties.

Another topic on the agenda of the Lavrov-Clinton talks was the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty or START.

The Russian foreign minister had something more positive to report to the journalists on the issue, saying there is hope the crucial document may be finalized within weeks.

"The delegations are resuming work next week. They have new specified parameters regarding the issues still to be agreed. We are hoping that they will be through with their work literally within several weeks," he said.

Disagreements over verification and control procedures have so far prevented Moscow and Washington from signing a new deal to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expired on December 5.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Russian and American presidents held telephone talks on START. The parties discussed the prospect of signing a new treaty in the near future.

As the Kremlin press service reported, “The heads of state are satisfied with significant progress in preparing a new START treaty achieved during recent Moscow talks and instructed their delegations to finalize technical issues of the document.”