The attentive reader may recall that Sergei Lavrov got a little bit prickly in response to U.S. sanctions on the state arms exporter Rosoboronexport. During yesterday’s press debriefing at the State Department, one journalist got a brief response out of Sean McCormack, which shows that the U.S. is getting bit annoyed with Russia’s insistence that its helping out on Iran is seen as “a favor” rather than a mutual interest. He’s got a point.
QUESTION: Sean, kind of old business from Friday. Sergey Lavrov expressed some irritation about the sanctions that the United States imposed against that Russian export firm Rosoboronexport or whatever. MR. MCCORMACK: Yeah. QUESTION: And he said that it was a case of unilateralism vis-à-vis Iran and that this will cause Russia to sort of approach the P5+1 process with diminished zeal. And I was wondering, have they communicated that to you? MR. MCCORMACK: I don’t know, Dave. I don’t know if they’ve communicated directly. I know that we – with the Russian Government, we have been in contact specifically with respect to this designation. Yeah, and as for the Russians’ devotion of energy to the P5+1 process, look, this isn’t – as I’ve said before, this isn’t a favor to us. You know, Iran having a nuclear weapon isn’t in Russia’s interest. It’s in nobody’s interest. So working diplomatically to see that they don’t have the abilities and the know-how and the technology and the hardware to solve some of the toughest problems that could lead to a nuclear weapon is in Russia’s interest.