Russian foreign minister: 'We need to work as grown-ups'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said U.S. and Russian officials need to "work as grown-ups."

Following a meeting with Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryJohn Kerry to NYU Abu Dhabi: We can't address world problems by 'going it alone' Juan Williams: Trump's dangerous lies on Iran Pompeo: US tried, failed to achieve side deal with European allies MORE and defense officials from both countries, the two sides talked about resolving differences despite chilled relations.

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“The relationship between the United states and Russia is, needless to say, a very important relationship,” Kerry said to open the meeting. “And it is marked by both shared interests and, at times, colliding and conflicting interests. I think we’re all very clear eyed about that.”

The meeting between Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelOvernight Defense: Latest on historic Korea summit | Trump says 'many people' interested in VA job | Pompeo thinks Trump likely to leave Iran deal Should Mike Pompeo be confirmed? Intel chief: Federal debt poses 'dire threat' to national security MORE and their Russian counterparts came just two days after President Obama canceled a bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

The impetus for the canceled meeting was Russia's decision to give temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, though the two countries have many other differences as well. 

Lavrov did not specifically mention Snowden in his remarks, but he noted that Kerry told him their countries have a “special responsibility” in their first conversation after Kerry became secretary of State.

“So we need to work as grown-ups,” Lavrov said through a translator. “This is what we do, and we hope this will be reciprocal.”

The talks at the State Department focused on the conflict in Syria, missile defense and Afghanistan — and were scheduled despite the fallout from Moscow granting Snowden asylum.

Kerry and Hagel met with Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. 

Kerry acknowledged that the two countries have “challenging moments,” noting that the disagreements went beyond just the Snowden case.

“We will discuss these differences today for certain. But this meeting remains important above and beyond the collisions and moments of disagreement,” Kerry said.

Both Kerry and Lavrov talked about the two-year civil war in Syria, where the Russians have backed Syrian President Bashar Assad and the United States supports the opposition. Lavrov said that Syria was the “top priority”

Earlier this year, Kerry and Lavrov announced a conference to try to find a political solution to the conflict, though not much has materialized from it yet.