European leaders follow the US's lead even when there are conflicts of interest, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview filmed in Moscow on Sunday.

"We would like to see how our European colleagues use their independence in real-case scenarios, but unfortunately they seem to be not quite ready for it, and they keep following the US even if brings them into conflict with their own interests," Lavrov told a Channel One reporter.

Russia's top diplomat cited European countries' failure to support a Russian-backed resolution at the UN which would preserve the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF treaty).

The US has threatened to unilaterally withdraw from the 30-year-old arms treaty.

As for 2019, Lavrov said Russian President Vladimir Putin would be ready to meet his American counterpart Donald Trump "at the very moment when Washington is ready."

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Xinhua 23 Jul 2019 11:36 CEST

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