03:13 GMT12 July 2020
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Austrian counterpart Karin Kneissl address questions by the press after their bilateral talks in the Russian capital.

    Lavrov has commented on a request by US President Donald Trump for $500 million in funds to counter "Russian influence" in other countries, stressing that it is an attempt to "buy allies". He also addressed the US sanctions threats against the Nord Stream 2 project, stating that such restrictions would contradict international law.

    "I don't know how much the countries targeted by this initiative would like to be ‘bought' [by the US]. Considering the manners that now prevail in Washington, I do not exclude that if they [European countries] refuse to accept the aid, they will be sanctioned. So now they have to make a choice", Lavrov stated.

    Kneissl, in turn, stressed that there are other ways to solve international tensions.

    "I can only say as the Austrian foreign minister that we believe in other forms of interaction — diplomatic visits, negotiations like the one we had today, and exchanges. Such a format [US actions] only contributes to contradictions. I understand diplomacy as communication on par, when you can discuss various issues without fearing to 'take out hot coal with bare hands'. I think that we should continue diplomacy in its original meaning — [as] constructive and polite dialogue, like the one we had today", she noted.


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    press conference, Karin Kneissl, Sergei Lavrov, Russia, Austria
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