Peace talks must have ‘Russian interests, concerns’, says Lavrov

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“Any negotiation needs to be based on taking into account Russian interests, Russian concerns,” Lavrov said on Friday after meeting his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.

“It should be about the principles on which the new world order will be based,” he said, adding that Russia rejects a “unipolar world order led by ‘one hegemon’”.

Cavusoglu, whose country hosted talks between Russia and Ukraine last year, called for a resumption of dialogue and expressed “concerns that the war will escalate in spring”.

Russia has, meanwhile, threatened to bypass the United Nations-brokered grain deal unless obstacles to its agricultural exports were removed.

The talks in Turkey agreed removing barriers was a necessary condition for extending the agreement beyond next month.

The Black Sea grain deal, first signed last July and twice renewed, is an attempt by the UN to ease a food crisis that predated the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but has been made worse by the deadliest war in Europe since World War II.

Lavrov said he and Cavusoglu discussed “a failure” to implement the terms of the deal, adding that Russia could work outside it if Western countries maintain what he said were obstacles to agricultural exports that were getting tougher.

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