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    Sergei Lavrov

    Lavrov Promises Reciprocal Response to Seizure of Russian Assets Abroad

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    Russia will reply to seizures of its assets abroad in a reciprocal way, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague instructed that 47 Belgian and Russian companies be stripped of assets to the tune of 1.65 billion euro ($1.87 billion) in connection to a lawsuit by former shareholders of the now dismantled Yukos oil company.

    "The answer will be reciprocity," Lavrov told the RBC television channel.

    "First of all, we are seeking the cancellation of seizures of assets of our diplomatic missions," Lavrov added.

    On Thursday, Belgium and France began seizing Russian state-owned property abroad, following The Hague court's decision. Russian presidential aide Andrei Belousov said international lawyers were working to protect Russia’s interests and are challenging The Hague court's decision.

    Yukos was declared bankrupt in 2006 by Moscow's Court of Arbitration. State-run Rosneft subsequently purchased about 80 percent of the company's assets.

    Yukos' stakeholders claimed that Moscow had illegally forced the company out of business in order to allow Rosneft to obtain its assets at knockdown prices and become the country’s largest oil producer.

    No Serious International Problem Can Be Solved Without Russia

    There is no serious international issue in today's world that could be solved without Russia's participation, Sergei Lavrov said.

    "I don't think that there is some serious global issue that could be solved without the Russian Federation," Lavrov told RBC.

    According to the top Russian diplomat, the United States is currently concentrating on the situations in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and Iraq.

    "It is not possible to solve serious issues in those problems without Russia", Lavrov said.

    US Trying to Renew Communication Channels With Russia, Moscow Ready to Reciprocate

    Washington is starting to try to reopen the communication channels with Moscow, Russia will not be nasty and will reciprocate, Sergei Lavrov said.

    "They have shut down the communication channels, now are slowly trying to find ways to… reopen those channels. We will not be nasty, we will reciprocate, in this situation the reciprocity is positive if they suggest to thaw the communications channels."

    Russia's relations with the West deteriorated significantly over the Ukraine crisis. In 2014, the European Union, alongside the United States and a number of other nations, accused Russia of interfering with Ukraine's internal affairs, and imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow.

    Russian authorities have repeatedly denied allegations and underlined that sanctions imposed by the West threaten global stability.

    To address the crisis of trust, US Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to southern Russia where he met with Lavrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the resort city of Sochi on May 12.

    Following the high-profile talks the Russian top diplomat said Moscow was open to constructive cooperation with the United States on a fair and equal basis.


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    Russian Foreign Ministry, Yukos, United States, Russia, Belgium
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