US sanctions on Iran and Syria have hurt Russian businesses, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday, particularly Russian banks.
“Unilateral US sanctions against Syria and Iran are increasingly becoming extra-territorial in nature and are touching upon the interests of Russian business,” Lavrov said after meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is in Vladivostok, Russia for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
Washington has imposed asset freezes against more than 100 members of the Syrian regime and barred US firms from doing business with them, AFP reported. It also placed sanctions against Sytrol, the Syrian state-owned oil firm, last month.
Lavrov told reporters that sanctions against the Syrian regime won’t produce any results.
Instead, he called on the Syrian regime to implement a unity government composed of opposition forces and regime members, which the international community voted to support in Geneva approximately two months ago. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s role in the power-sharing arrangement is unclear.
During their meeting, Clinton noted the importance of dealing with the ongoing crisis in Syria, where Russia, along with China, has blocked UN action that would penalize the Syrian regime for refusing to allow a political transition, a US official said. The pair also discussed efforts to get Iran to comply with international demands to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.
The secretary stressed the importance of bolstering US-Russian trade relations — and overturning Cold War-era bilateral trade restrictions — which would pave the way for more American companies in the Russian market.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.