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Published: Saturday March 22, 2014 MYT 8:25:02 PM
Updated: Saturday March 22, 2014 MYT 8:26:15 PM

Lavrov to represent Russia at next week's nuclear security summit

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will attend a nuclear security summit in The Hague next week, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday, in what will be his first meeting with Western officials since Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

The Nuclear Security Summit on March 24-25, aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism, will bring together several world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend.

The West has condemned Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea, responding with assets freezes and visa bans on a number of high-profile Russians and Obama warned of more measures targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

Heads of the world's leading industrial democracies are expected to hold a Group of Seven meeting without Russia on the sidelines of the summit to consider further responses to the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement on Friday that Secretary of State John Kerry would "hold bilateral meetings with foreign interlocutors, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov."

The Russian foreign ministry did not refer to any plans for Lavrov's bilateral meetings.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Addtional reporting by Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Writing by Lidia Kelly, editing by Rosalind Russell)


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