Russia, Germany to cooperate within G8 on global issues

MOSCOW, Feb. 14 (PNA/ITAR-TASS) — Russia and Germany will closely cooperate in resolving key international issues within the Group of Eight, uniting France, United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday following his meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

“We have similar views on most international issues,” Lavrov said. “We also agree that we should cooperate more closely both to advance common European processes and to settle key foreign policy issues,” he added.

“We will promote these tasks within the framework of our further cooperation as members of the Group of Eight, and also during preparations for an annual summit meeting, which will take place in Sochi at the beginning of June,” he said.

“This kind of interaction between Moscow and Berlin is especially required now, considering that we pass the relay baton of G8 chairmanship over to Germany,” Lavrov added.

Stance on Syria

After the meeting, Lavrov has pointed to what he described as attempts at disrupting the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

“I am very alarmed by the systematic attempts to disrupt political settlement in Syria,” he added. “The Syrian government is being forced into slamming the door,” he concluded.

Russia has the impression that, in persuading Syria’s external opposition to join the Geneva II conference, its sponsors had only the replacement of the regime in mind, Lavrov stressed.

“They are prepared to discuss other issues, in the first place, the fight against terrorism, only after the creation of a transitional body, because ‘in the field’ government troops are confronted with the armed opposition,” he said.

Lavrov added that the Syrian government was prepared to discuss the implementation of the Geneva communique in full. (PNA/Itar-Tass)