Russia’s Lavrov to Talk Visas, Syria with EU Top Diplomats


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet on Sunday in Luxembourg with EU member states’ top diplomats to discuss a mooted visa-free agreement between Russia and the EU, as well as the Syrian conflict settlement.

“In line with the schedule of the Russia-EU political dialogue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet on October 14 with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and heads of foreign ministries of EU member states,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The top Russian diplomat will discuss a number of key issues in the Russia-EU cooperation, including trade and economic relations, security and achievements in the introduction of a visa-free regime between Russia and EU states.

Last week, Lavrov said that the European Union is delaying signing the visa-free agreement with Russia for political reasons adding that he wanted to hear in Luxembourg “some assurances that our [Russian] suspicions are baseless.”

In 2011, the Kremlin made visa-free travel between Russia and the EU a foreign policy priority. Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev repeatedly declared the country’s readiness to scrap existing visa requirements with the EU.

The ministry also said that Lavrov is set to discuss various international issues, particularly the recent developments in the ongoing Syrian conflict.

Moscow has repeatedly blocked UN Security Council sanctions against Syria’s embattled regime over what it says is a pro-rebel bias.


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