Sergey Ryabkov

A senior Russian diplomat says tensions between Russia and the West could affect Russia’s stance toward the nuclear talks with Iran.

Speaking in Vienna after the latest round of nuclear talks with Iran, Sergey Rybakov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, said: "We would not like to use these talks as an element of a stakes-raising game taking into account the moods in various European capitals, in Brussels and Washington.”

Iran is now negotiating a more final deal with the 5+1 world powers regarding its nuclear activities, after an interim deal reached in November was implemented in January for a six-month period.

Rybakov added: “When it comes down to it, the historic value of what has happened in recent weeks and days from the point of view of restoring historical justice and reuniting Crimea and Russia is incomparable with what we are doing,” referring to negotiations with Iran.

Crimea voted this week to separate from Ukraine, and its formal petition to join Russia was accepted by the Russian Duma.

The U.S. and the European Union have denounced the separation of Crimea and say it is against Ukrainian and international law.

Russia maintains that Crimeans have the right to self-determination and now they have legitimately made the choice to return to Russia.

Tensions between Russia and the West have overshadowed the talks with Iran in recent weeks, with Western countries announcing sanctions against Russia and Crimea.