The Russian foreign minister says the delay in implementing Ukraine's association agreement with the European Union leaves space for an early settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

Sergey Lavrov also declares Moscow has been involved in the fight against terrorism by providing Syria and Iraq with military equipment and advisers.

Lavrov was speaking at a news conference Friday. He says he is "cautiously optimistic" that an agreement will be reached on Iran's nuclear program. Russia's top diplomat says negotiators are very close to an agreement, pending resolution of small but very important details.

Relations with the United States, he says, will improve greatly if Washington is ready to deal fairly with Moscow, accepting the importance of its global needs.