Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had suggested to him that he should pay no attention to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks in which he called Russia a principal threat to the world.
"The first time I took note of the listing of threats that President Obama took the liberty of doing was when I spoke at the UN General Assembly. Some time later, talking to John Kerry not so long ago, I asked him what it was supposed to mean. He said: 'Forget about it'. You see, if this is so serious, certainly, this is sad. And he said 'forget about it' because at that moment he wanted to discuss how we would coordinate our approaches toward resolving the [problem of the] Iranian nuclear program and the situation on the Korean Peninsula," Lavrov said during a regular 'government hour' hearing at the State Duma on Wednesday.
"You see, it's unseemly for a major and great power to take such a consumerist approach toward its partners. Where we need you, please help me, and where I want to punish you, obey me," he said.
"We work on Iran and the Korean Peninsula not because we want to please someone. First of all, these countries are very near us," he said.
Russia surely opposes any risks for the nuclear nonproliferation regime, Lavrov said. "But, after settling these problems, we should make sure that these countries don't experience any artificial obstacles to full-format cooperation with us," he said.
This is why it is in Russia's best interests to be actively involved in negotiations on both the Iranian nuclear program and on the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula, he said.
"We are ready to cooperate with our partners not based on some arbitrary principle but where our fundamentally interests coincide," he said.
The matter is about combating the Islamic State and other groups terrorizing this entire region, he said.
"This is what our approach is. And saying: help me where it's beneficial to me and on the rest I'll grill you as is required by my public opinion that I have established myself - it's flippant," he said.
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