STATE DUMA DEPUTIES ASK RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SOME URGENT QUESTIONS

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MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) - State Duma deputies asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a number of urgent questions on conflicts on the post-Soviet space, solution of border problems with China, and relations with the United States and the European Union. Chairman of the State Duma international committee Konstantin Kosachev announced this after the meeting.

On his part, Mr. Lavrov said that he was asked interesting questions but some of them were inconvenient.

"I tried to give frank answers. On the whole, these questions meant a sincere desire to solve problems of the Russian state," the minister stressed.

According to Mr. Kosachev, some deputies try to gain rating asking urgent questions in the State Duma. "However, today no such attempts were made, probably, because it was a closed meeting," he noted.

Answering journalists' questions, Sergei Lavrov said, in particular, that Russia was ready to cooperate with the West in conflict settlement on the post-Soviet space within the framework of the existing mechanisms.

"We are ready to cooperate in conflict settlement on the post-Soviet space with everyone who supports the existing negotiating and peacekeeping mechanisms. These mechanisms were formed by the sides' consent under the UN or OSCE aegis and sometimes with account for CIS mechanisms," the minister said.

In his words, the Foreign Ministry is working on the implementation of plans of Russian and Ukrainian citizens' trips with the use of domestic passports.

Similar agreements may be achieved with other CIS countries, he added.

Sergei Lavrov plans to visit Georgia and other Caucasian countries in the near future.

"The terms of the visit have not been coordinated yet but I have already informed my Georgian counterpart about my plans to visit the country taking into account Russia's current chairmanship at the CIS," the Foreign Minister noted.

Moreover, he will participate in the international session on Iraq in Egypt scheduled for November 23.

In his opinion, the Russian side will be involved in the activities connected with the forthcoming elections in Iraq.

These elections should be independent and all strata of the population must participate in them, Sergei Lavrov emphasized.

The Russian Foreign Minister believes that the negotiations on the conclusion of a peace treaty with Japan should be carried out on the partnership basis.

According to him, the two countries do not negotiate on the transfer of some islands to Japan but have relations covering the whole range of economic and social issues.

This dialogue is based on partnership, he noted.

"The conclusion of a peace treaty with Japan can be discussed in the context of mature strategic partnership," Mr. Lavrov stressed.

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