Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is opposed to Western sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, seen here in May 2012, has said further sanctions on Iran would be "counter-productive". Lavrov made the comments during an official visit to China. © Yuri Kadobnov - AFP/File
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is opposed to Western sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme
AFP
Last updated: June 6, 2012

Russia's Lavrov says Iran sanctions counterproductive

Further sanctions on Iran would be "counter-productive", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during an official visit to China on Wednesday.

"Additional sanctions are completely counter-productive, they are already adopted not only by the security council, but by some states, which we think undermines our collective actions," Lavrov told reporters.

Lavrov was speaking after Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao on a visit to Beijing, during which he will also meet Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The meeting will come as Russia prepares to host the latest round of talks on June 18 and 19 between world powers and Iranian negotiators in a bid to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme.

The Moscow talks will follow a meeting last month in Baghdad where the six world powers -- the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany -- confronted Tehran over its intention to enrich uranium.

The West believes Iran is trying to develop an atomic bomb under cover of its civilian programme although Tehran insists the programme is solely peaceful.

Russia and China have both resisted Western sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear programme, with China one of the biggest buyers of Iranian oil.

The meeting with Ahmadinejad will be Putin's first since his return to the Kremlin for a third term after a four-year stint as prime minister.

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