Russia sees ‘chance’ to agree with West on security: Lavrov to Putin

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told President Vladimir Putin that there was a “chance” of reaching an agreement on security with the West, in what appeared to be a possible climbdown amid raging tensions over Ukraine.

“As head of the foreign ministry, I must say that there is always a chance” to find agreement, Lavrov told Putin during a carefully choreographed meeting when asked to comment on ongoing talks with the West.

The United States has warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be imminent, and their western allies have threatened a crippling package of economic sanctions in response.

But speaking to Putin, Lavrov indicated that Moscow was prepared to continue talks with the West.

“Is there a chance to reach an agreement with our partners on key issues or is it an attempt to drag us into an endless negotiation process?” Putin asked Lavrov in televised remarks.

Lavrov replied: “Our possibilities are far from being exhausted, they certainly should not continue indefinitely, but I would suggest continuing and ramping them up.”

He pointed out that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was set to arrive in Moscow for talks Tuesday.