Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday that U.S. sanctions on Iran and harm the Russian economy.
According to the AFP news agency, after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Lavrov said that "unilateral U.S. sanctions against Syria and Iran are increasingly becoming extra-territorial in nature and are touching upon the interests of Russian business." According to Lavrov, Russian banks have been hit hardest by the sanctions.
Lavrov’s comments came one day after the European Union announced that it was drafting a new round of sanctions on Iran, lamenting the lack of progress in negotiations over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the new restrictive measures would target "financial, commercial and oil aspects." Something concrete should be ready in time for the next United Nations General Assembly in 10 days, he said, while German's Guido Westerwelle spoke of adopting the sanctions around October 15.
"The negotiations are treading water," Fabius told reporters after meeting with his EU counterparts at an informal gathering in Cyprus. An Iran with nuclear weapons is an "unacceptable, extremely dangerous" prospect, he added.
Westerwelle said he is "very worried about the lack of progress in the nuclear negotiations," stating that "any talks and negotiations that only amount to a delay" will be unacceptable. We will not accept a nuclear arming of Iran."
Westerwelle told Reuters on the sidelines of a meeting that "Sanctions are necessary and soon. I can't see there is really a constructive will on the Iranian side for substantial talks."
"If they do not come back to the table, then the next round will probably be necessary. This is not something for next year, we are talking about next weeks," he said.
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