Russia and the United States must do more to strengthen relations because the “reset” in ties cannot continue forever, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview published Wednesday.
U.S. President Barack Obama called for the reset in ties in 2008, but relations have been strained by differences over issues such as missile defense, human rights and the conflict in Syria.
“If we talk about the reset, it is clear that, using computer terminology, it cannot last forever. Otherwise it would not be a reset but a program failure,” Lavrov told Kommersant.
“Instead of dwelling on the name of this or that stage, we should think about how to develop our relations. Or, again using computer specialists’ terminology, we should update the software.”
Lavrov said that deepening economic cooperation would help improve ties between the former Cold War enemies but that some moves would have to wait until after the U.S. presidential election next month.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney has accused Obama of being soft on Moscow during his four-year term, and he described Russia as the United States’ “No. 1 geopolitical foe.”
Lavrov reiterated that Russia would not back efforts to topple President Bashar Assad to end the conflict in Syria, saying that would be “incitement to fratricidal war.”