March 20, 2014 14:18
Russia against "higher ante" in Iran negotiations because of Ukraine events - diplomat
MOSCOW/VIENNA. March 20 (Interfax) - Russia will have something to answer with if it is forced to "up the ante" in the negotiations on the Iran nuclear problem taking into consideration the development of the events surrounding Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax.
"We wouldn't like to take advantage of these negotiations [between the P5+1 group and Iran] as an element of gambling with a higher ante considering attitudes in some European capitals, Brussels and Washington," he said.
"But if we are forced to do so, we will take retaliatory measures as well, because, in the big perspective, the historical significance of what has happened in the past weeks and days in terms of restoring historical justice and Crimea's reunification with Russia is incomparable with what we are dealing with on the Iranian track," Ryabkov said when asked whether the crisis in Ukraine and the recent events have had any effect on the ongoing negotiations on Iran.
A round of negotiations at the level of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, with political directors from Russia, the U.S., China, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom taking part, was finished in Vienna on Wednesday.
"After all, the choice and the decision rest with our partners from Washington and Brussels. It depends on them to what extent the formats will be preserved; it depends on them whether these formats will be productive; and it depends on them whether we will or will not choose the way of response measures and some actions that should sober up those who campaign for such actions. That is, the choice is fully on their side rather than on ours," he said.
In the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program, Russia is not seeking "to somehow play into the hands of the Americans, or the European Union, or the Iranians" but sees "its own fundamental, deep, and very well-defined interest" in this process, he said.
The full version of Ryabkov's interview with Interfax will be available later on www.interfax.com.
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