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Lavrov and Blinken Discuss Iran, Agree to Meet May 20

Lavrov and Blinken Discuss Iran, Agree to Meet May 20

Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 04:45
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on during a joint news conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias at the Foreign Ministry in Athens, Greece, October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken have agreed to hold talks on the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting in Reykjavik next week, officials said Wednesday.

The Russian foreign ministry said Lavrov and Blinken had spoken by phone and discussed international and bilateral ties, and had agreed to hold talks "on the sidelines" of the ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council on May 20.

Lavrov and Blinken discussed North Korea, Iran and "strategic stability" as well as cooperation within the Arctic Council.

The US State Department confirmed that the meeting would take place "next week" and that the two ministers had raised "the potential to cooperate during Russia's subsequent Arctic Council Chairmanship."

"Secretary Blinken reiterated President Biden's resolve to protect US citizens and act firmly in defense of US interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies," the State Department said in a statement.

Blinken also called on Russia to release Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed, two American nationals whom Washington considers unfairly detained by Moscow.

The two also discussed Washington's proposal to organize a summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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