Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov Photographed by Fox News

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s foreign policy chief on Friday blamed what he described as “aggressive” U.S. policies for growing global tensions, noting Washington’s reluctance to extend a key nuclear arms pact.

Sergey Lavrov, who serves as acting foreign minister in the wake of Wednesday’s resignation of the Russian Cabinet, said this week’s meeting of top U.S. and Russian diplomats on strategic stability didn’t achieve any immediate results, adding that “dialogue is continuing.”

Russia-U.S. relations have been at post-Cold War lows since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. Speaking at an annual news conference, Lavrov said that the U.S. has stonewalled Russia’s push for extending the New Start nuclear arms treaty that expires in 2021. The agreement is the last U.S.-Russian arms control deal still in place, and Moscow has argued that its demise will remove the final barrier stemming an arms race.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has pushed for China to join nuclear arms cuts, but Lavrov described the idea as unrealistic. He pointed at Beijing’s refusal to discuss reductions in its nuclear arsenal, which is much smaller than those of the U.S. or Russia.

Lavrov noted that the European Union boasted about creating a mechanism for trade with Iran bypassing U.S. sanctions, but never put it into action. He described the move by Britain, France and Germany as a “dangerous turn,” arguing that the three nations used the moment of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran to “blame Iran for all what happened.”

Turning to Libya, Lavrov said he expects the warring parties in the North African nation to observe a lasting cease-fire after their talks in the Russian capital earlier this week. He explained that the talks in Moscow between Libya’s rival leaders focused on a document spelling out conditions of a cease-fire that could serve as a basis for Sunday’s Libya talks hosted by Germany.

The three major world military powers USA, China and Russia is showing growing interest in the Arctic area around the North Pole.

Foreign Ministers IneSøreide og Wang Yi photographed by

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