Lavrov says Russia open to contacts with West

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday voiced his country's readiness to continue contacts with the West on an equal basis but doubted the West's willingness to meet Russia halfway, reports citing TASS.

"We remain open to contacts, but on an equal footing and with mandatory consideration of Russia's interests in order to improve the situation in Europe and the Euro-Atlantic region and reduce nuclear risks in the long run," Lavrov said in an interview with Russian weekly Argumenty i Fakty.

"The main prerequisite here is for the West to abandon its aggressive and hostile policy. However, the West is not willing to do this or to start a constructive dialogue with us but is instead looking 24/7 for new ways to contain Russia," he stressed.

Lavrov noted that Russia had repeatedly come up with constructive ideas and non-politicized proposals for resolving pressing international issues, including President Vladimir Putin's 2021 initiative to provide Russia with legally binding security guarantees in the western direction.

"However, Washington and Brussels ignored us or reacted to this initiative negatively," he said, adding that "it takes two to tango."

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