WASHINGTON, January 21 (Sputnik) — Russia is playing a constructive role in international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program despite Western imposed sanctions on Moscow, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.
“They [Russia] continue[s] to play constructive role and have been actually very helpful in pushing Iran in the direction it has to go if we are going to get any kind of resolution,” Blinken told senators at a hearing on the status of nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Blinken said Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and differences with the United States on the future of Syria have not spilled over into global cooperation between international powers and Iran.
Iran and the P5+1 – Russia, the United States, United Kingdom, China, France and Germany – are negotiating to verify Tehran’s nuclear program is peaceful in exchange for easing sanctions. On Wednesday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said negotiations with Iran have progressed and he expected results despite remaining challenges.
Since 2006 the P5+1 and Iran have held several meetings but the sides have failed to reach a compromise. In November 2014, the sides agreed to continue negotiations until July 2015.
The United States, along with its allies, have imposed multiple sanctions targeting Russia’s banking, energy and military sectors, as well as several high-profile individuals, over Moscow’s alleged interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs.
Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and continues to urge the warring sides to establish direct dialogue.