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Germany: Lavrov, Maas discuss Ukraine, Iran nuclear deal

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Heiko Maas discussed the Iran nuclear deal, Europe’s energy security, Ukraine, and the future of the INF Treaty at a press conference in Petersberg on Thursday.

Maas stressed that all signatories of the JCPOA need to “influence” Iran to keep to its commitments of the agreement.

“The last few weeks have shown how tense the situation in the region is. What we now need more than anything else are measures to de-escalate the situation, and also diplomacy,” the German diplomat added.

Lavrov on his part raised the issue of Europe’s energy security, saying that Moscow appreciates Berlin’s support for the Nord Stream gas pipeline project.

He went on talking about the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, stating that Russia has done everything it can to save the agreement.

“The United States not only evaded any dialogue, but also banned its NATO allies from participating in it. We are concerned that the collapse of the entire nuclear arms control system could have far-reaching negative consequences for international security,” said Lavrov.

The Russian diplomat also said he is glad to see the new Ukrainian administration is ready to implement the Minsk Agreements.

“I want to point out that during the last meeting with experts under Normandy format in Paris and the meeting of the contact group in Minsk some advances have been made, that allows to suggest that we can start to move further,” he concluded.

Later the two ministers will take part in the opening ceremony of the 18th session of the Petersburg Dialogue Russian-German Public Forum.

The Petersburg Dialogue Russian-German public forum was established in 2001 in order to promote a long-term, open exchange of views between politicians, scientists and cultural figures, businesspeople and civil societies of the two countries.

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