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Energy Issues Further Dividing Russian and U.S. Foreign Policy

During “frank and candid” discussions in Moscow between Duma members and a visiting U.S. congressional delegation, the rifts between U.S. and Russian foreign policy perceptions were too evident to ignore.

The differences were highlighted during discussions between a nine-member U.S. congressional delegation meeting with their counterparts at the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Interfax news agency reported.

According to the State Duma International Affairs Committee head Konstantin Kosachev, a broad host of issues were raised at the meeting, including the development of the Baltic’s energy sector, Iran, Syria and Libya. The first two are already under punitive U.S. sanctions while Libya is subject to a NATO-led military operation.

Kosachev said that he had "the impression that our guests had quite superficial and biased opinions on these subjects, so they found our explanations helpful and informative" before adding, "The Russian side stressed that any unlawful actions outside international resolutions, such as in Iraq some time ago and now is taking place in Libya, can only provoke different forces in these regions to step up military activities, which is absolutely unacceptable."

Iran is the highest profile issue over which U.S. and Russian policies diverge, as the U.S. suspects that Iran’s Buhsher nuclear power plant, being completed with Russian assistance, is providing covert cover for a nuclear weapons program, something strongly denied by the Iranian government. Last month Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov said that the NPP was close to coming on online, telling reporters, “The project has been completed and everything has been ironed out. If this happens in the first days of August, it will fully meet our forecasts and expectations.”

By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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