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Lavrov Says U.S. Needs to Learn Respect

The U.S. needs to conduct its affairs based on "mutual respect," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.

"The U.S. will not change overnight. They must get used to the fact that affairs can only be conducted on the basis of equality, a balance of interests and mutual respect," Lavrov said during an interview set to air the next day on Rossia-2 television.

"We may no longer see arrogant actions that directly contradicted Russia's interests, those of our neighbors and those of other parts of the world. But this does not mean that the [Obama] administration has stopped trying to advance its own interests in Central Asia, the Caucasus and even around Russia. This does not mean that the new administration — although it's not really new, it's more like the 'old new' — is abandoning its missile defense plans," he said, Interfax reported.

"The tone and style of negotiation and dialogue have changed under Barack Obama. This is always a plus. … The practical impact of these conversations has also changed," he said. "They [the Americans] are physically not able to solve any problems, but remain the largest and most powerful military, economic and financial power."

Speaking of Afghanistan, Lavrov said that even as a coalition the U.S. can do little.

"The threat of terrorism is still there, and the drug threat has increased. They cannot solve the problems related to the spread of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, drug-trafficking and organized crimes," Lavrov said.

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