Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says it is premature to discuss sanctions against Iran for its controversial nuclear program.
Mr. Putin told reporters in Beijing Wednesday that there is no need to frighten the Iranians with such talk. He stressed there is instead a need to compromise and reach agreements.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said imposing sanctions against Tehran at this stage would be "counterproductive."
After discussing the issue with Lavrov in Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also said it is not yet time for additional sanctions. She added that the U.S. is still considering such measures if diplomacy proves unsuccessful.
Clinton also emphasized both Moscow and Washington agree that Iran is entitled to peaceful nuclear energy, but not nuclear weapons.
Last month, the Russian president said sanctions in some cases are inevitable, a statement welcomed by U.S. President Barack Obama and seen by some analysts as a shift in approach by Moscow, which has long opposed tough sanctions on Iran.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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