News / Europe

Russian Foreign Minister to Meet Obama at White House

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (file photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (file photo)

Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, goes to the White House on Wednesday for talks with President Barack Obama.  

Some of the topics in Wednesday's Oval Office meeting were previewed when the White House issued a statement on Monday confirming a telephone conversation Mr. Obama had with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

According to the statement, Mr. Obama thanked the Russian leader for Moscow's efforts at mediation in Libya, saying the U.S. is "prepared to support negotiations that lead to a democratic transition" in Libya, as long as Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi steps aside.

But while the situation in Libya will be on the list, the talks between the president and Foreign Minister Lavrov, who is in town for three days, may be dominated by Russian concerns about the U.S. missile defense shield for Europe.

The Associated Press quoted Lavrov as saying at a Russian Embassy event on Tuesday that the missile defense issue remains the biggest irritant in relations, and repeating Moscow's concerns that U.S. plans could undermine Russia's security.

Russia has long opposed the U.S. plan for a missile defense shield in Europe. Moscow's concerns continued after the Obama administration adopted its new "phased adaptive approach" involving sea and land-based missile interceptors and radar systems to defend against potential attacks from such countries as Iran.

Daryl Kimball, head of the Arms Control Association, a private research firm, says Moscow worries that US missiles could counter some of Russia's offensive ballistic missiles, especially those deployed in the West of Russia.

"Russia's worries are grossly exaggerated, even if some U.S. ballistic missile interceptors deployed in the year 2020 could shoot down a couple dozen Russian nuclear-armed ballistic missiles - that would not negate Russia's nuclear deterrent capability, which consists of hundreds of nuclear-armed ballistic missiles," Kimball said.

Other topics in Wednesday's Oval Office talks are likely to be Russia's pending accession to the World Trade Organization, along with Afghanistan and Sudan.

Lavrov also participated in a meeting of the "Quartet" diplomatic group on the Middle East, which includes Russia, the U.S., the United Nations and European Union.  At the State Department, he and Secretary Clinton are to sign an agreement on child adoptions.   

In recent weeks, President Obama's spokesman Jay Carney has been asked several times whether the president is planning a visit to Moscow before the end of this year, as some Russian media outlets continue to report.

Carney has said only that the White House still has no scheduling announcements to make  on any potential presidential visit to Russia.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs