Washington’s statements about Russia getting isolated in the international arena is surprising, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The ministry said such allegations about Russia’s “isolation” seem “especially absurd.” It refers to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Russia for the second time in seven months. The ministry says it shows how “ridiculous” such propaganda approaches are. The Russian ministry also said Kerry’s visit in May was organised at Washington’s urgent request.

"Washington can pretend to itself that sanctions against us are ‘efficient’ as long as it likes," Russian News Agency TASS quotes the ministry statement. “In determining spheres for joint with the US activity, we continue to be guided solely by own interests, including the task of strengthening our own and international security.”

Kerry will hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday. He is expected to talk about the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the political transition of the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

US State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Kerry expected to face “no preconditions to having this meeting.” However, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart had agreed on the need for specific preconditions to be met before any new meeting, Reuters reports.

The statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry says Russia is “open for constructive partnership, but it is possible only on the principles of equality and mutual respect." It says Moscow expects to receive “necessary explanations” from Kerry about the Syria situation during the Tuesday meeting.

“We, for our part, will keep seeking that the US administration review its policy that seeks to divide terrorists into ‘good’ and ‘bad’," the statement says. It adds Moscow expects a “businesslike conversation” with Kerry on Dec. 15.

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