29 March 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

17.02.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s comment and answers to media questions following talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Bonn, February 16, 2017

We have held a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. It was a pragmatic and business-like meeting, which I would describe as productive in that we compared our views on prospects for working together in the areas which our presidents discussed in principle during their telephone conversation on January 28. We reaffirmed the existence of similar or identical interests, primarily with regard to the irreconcilable struggle against terrorism in the context of our cooperation within the political settlement in Syria and other countries where terrorism has taken root. We also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Our American partners have expressed interest in joining the efforts that are being taken to settle these conflicts.

We expressed our willingness to develop contact as soon as the teams working on this issue at the US Department of State and other US departments take shape. It is obvious that we could not resolve all of the problems. I believe it is impossible to settle absolutely every problem in relations between large powers such as Russia and the United States. But we share the belief that we must move forward in the numerous areas where we have similar interests and we must demonstrate the ability of Russia and the United States to play the roles they are destined to play due to their positions in the world.

We discussed bilateral relations, which were seriously damaged by the Obama administration, especially in the last months of its term. Mr Tillerson reaffirmed the resolve, expressed by US President Donald Trump in his conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin, to overcome the legacy of the past and to remove obstacles to rebuilding relations, although there will always be issues that need to be discussed and coordinated. All the differences cannot be settled in one meeting, of course.

We have agreed to maintain contact. There will be several opportunities for this in the coming months. We will act on the assumption that President Putin and President Trump will meet when they think it appropriate.

Question: Did you discuss the sanctions?

Sergey Lavrov: No, we didn’t. We believe that this is an abnormal situation, and that those who initiated the sanctions [against Russia] should analyse their effectiveness, whether sanctions can be part of normal relations between states, and whether the artificial desire to politicise certain issues meets the interests of the states that apply sanctions.

Question: Did Secretary of State Tillerson express his opinion about the Astana talks?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, he said he was willing to support this process. As you know, US Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol attended the January meeting in Astana as an observer, and he is also attending today’s meeting. An invitation to the meeting was sent to the United States. Washington has decided that, during the initial period of the new US administration and the State Department section on the Syrian settlement, the country will be represented by the US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, who attended the Astana meetings in January and today, as I said.

Question: What is your first impression of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in his new capacity?

Sergey Lavrov: I have not met Mr Tillerson before. As I said, we had a productive, pragmatic, open and, in my opinion, useful meeting.




LATEST EVENTS

29.03.2017 - Russian Embassy’s press-secretary responds to a media question

Question: Can you comment on a Russian-Chinese initiative on investigating use of chemical weapons in Iraq and Britain’s reaction to it? Press-secretary: On 24 March, Moscow and Beijing put forward a draft resolution proposing that OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism in Syria to be extended to Iraq. Such an initiative reflected our serious concern over an increasing number of cases of chemical weapons use by terrorists in Iraq and the spread of WMD-terrorism throughout the region on the whole.


29.03.2017 - Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov answers questions from readers of the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty

In seeking early implementation of the Minsk Agreements we assume that a long-term solution to the problems connected with the deep crisis that has hit Ukraine can only be found by political and diplomatic means. The Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015 has been approved by the UN Security Council, which passed Resolution 2202 of February 17, 2015. We are convinced that there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreements today. The West thinks likewise. The main provision of the Minsk Agreements is Kiev’s direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk. Neither Russia, nor the new US President, nor anybody else can do for the parties to the conflict what is needed to achieve a settlement, and that is to agree with each other directly on mutual guarantees of security and the principles of building a common future.


28.03.2017 - On FCO “concern about Russian protest arrests”.

Surprised with the statement of the Foreign office. Russia respects and protects the rights of citizens to voice their concerns or protest peacefully. Nevertheless, there is a set legal procedure for arranging public events in a major city. In many cases it was followed, resulting in civilized, democratic meetings where our citizens voiced their criticism of the Government, which is normal. Unfortunately it was not always the case. Some of the self-labeled “anti-Kremlin activists” consciously misled people, provoking illegal actions, including the attack on a policeman who was wounded. Pupils and teenagers were actively recruited to participate in the event, mostly by promises of monetary reward.


28.03.2017 - Press Secretary answer to a media question on Defence Secretary Fallon statements

Question: Media report that on 27 March UK Defence Secretary Mr Fallon said that Russian behavior abroad is becoming more “assertive and arrogant”. What can you say on that? Answer: We are disappointed, though not surprised, by a string of unfounded accusations against Russia made by Mr Fallon.


28.03.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at talks with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano, Moscow, March 27, 2017

We are glad to welcome you to Moscow. We value our Italian partners’ interest in further developing Russian-Italian interaction. Italy holds a special place in the system of Russia’s foreign policy relations. Our cooperation is based on firm traditions and successful experience in many areas. Our political dialogue, including at the top level, has been developing rapidly despite recent problems, along with ties between our parliaments and cooperation between our ministries and agencies, including foreign policy ones.


28.03.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

On March 27, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov received a telephone call from UK Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson.


24.03.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, March 23, 2017

On March 23, the next round of intra-Syrian talks based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 will begin in Geneva under the auspices of the UN. The delegations of the Syrian government and Syrian opposition groups invited by the UN will continue consultations in keeping with the agreed-upon agenda, including forming trustworthy, inclusive and non-confessional governance, drafting a new constitution, using it as the basis for holding elections, fighting terrorism and other topical issues. In our view, combating terrorism is a priority topic, because, as evidenced by the recent terrorist attacks in the Damascus suburbs and Hama Province, terrorism remains the main impediment to peace in Syria.


23.03.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the entry ban to Ukraine for Russia’s Eurovision 2017 contestant Yulia Samoilova

The Ukrainian officials have, once again, proved their image of a regime infested with Russophobic paranoia and nationalist insecurities.


23.03.2017 - Condolences to Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May

Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May over the tragic consequences of a terrorist attack in central London.


22.03.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

On March 22, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. The officials, who met ahead of the fifth round of the UN-facilitated intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, continued their exchange of opinions on the entire range of issues pertaining to the settlement of the Syrian crisis.



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