The confrontation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin in Reykjavik eased bilateral tensions, although the many obstacles between them were evident.
This week’s conversation in the Icelandic capital, as part of a meeting of the Arctic Council, was the first formal rapprochement between the Kremlin and the new White House administration.
The dialogue was marked by accusing US President Joseph Biden of the “murderer” of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, of a set of new sanctions against the Eurasian state and an unprecedented diplomatic crisis.
Against this background, the fact that Lavrov and Biden sat at the same table reviewing a long list of differences was seen as a positive thing by both parties and by experts who recognize that they are both economic and nuclear powers.
As Lavrov stated after the meeting, “The general situation in the world depends a lot on the relations between Moscow and Washington.”
The Russian Foreign Minister described the talks with his American counterpart as constructive, and stressed that there is an understanding of the need to overcome the “unhealthy situation” that developed in previous years.
The diplomats renewed the will of their governments to calm things down, and expressed the possibility of discussing issues such as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action related to the Iranian nuclear program, and the problems on the Korean Peninsula and in Afghanistan.
Lavrov said that Moscow and Washington should cooperate “in areas where our interests converge and where we can get a positive result,” especially in strategic stability and conflict resolution.
Russia welcomed the new “positive signs” in relations with the United States. After the same Wednesday of dialogue in Reykjavik, the Biden government lifted sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
In Iceland, Lavrov and Biden were not given information on the date and place of the announced talks between the presidents of Russia and the United States, but it was clear that the table was ready for the meeting.