23 October 2018
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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

22.02.2013

Russia's Initiatives for the G20 (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko, The Huffington Post, 21 February 2013)

On 15-16 February Moscow hosted the first Meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors under Russia's G20 presidency. The event was a major preparatory step towards the upcoming G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg on 5-6 September. Participants discussed a wide number of pressing issues, including "traditional" G20 topics such as global economic outlook, implementation of the Framework Agreement for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, international financial architecture and regulation reform. Investment financing, government borrowing and public debt management, were also discussed. Three of the most widely discussed issues of global finance today - currency markets volatility, national tax base erosion and profit shifting by multinational corporations were also considered in Moscow and mentioned in the communiqué.

The financial problems that most of the world's big economies first confronted in 2007-2008 are still affecting the global economy. No country can face today's challenges on its own. The time when crises were local and isolated in nature is in the past. The need for collective action places tougher demands on our global governance institutions and calls for closer coordination of economic policy. Examining the relevant institutions, creating new and effective instruments for eliminating the global and regional imbalances that have built up, and stimulating growth in all parts of the world - these are the main tasks for the G20 and for our presidency. The systemic failures in the previous regulatory system that have led to the breakdown of trust, still need to be addressed by the global community, and the G20 should play a key role in these joint efforts.

Russia proposes focusing the G20's agenda on the forum's main tasks: achieving balanced growth and creating jobs. Our priorities are to encourage investment, increase transparency, and make regulation more effective. These priorities make it possible to unite all areas of the G20's work in order to reach the set objectives. We propose discussing development of capital markets and the financial investment instruments used in global trade, examining regulation of the financial sector and its infrastructure at the global and national levels. Employment and job creation, including for vulnerable groups of population, are also important items on the agenda - that is why Russia is planning to host a joint meeting of finance and labour ministers, the first of its kind, in July.

The two additional priorities Russia has proposed to be discussed by the G20 this year reflect our own domestic social and economic priorities. We have intensified our efforts over the past few years to make investment growth the primary driving force in our economy. Structural reforms are making good progress. Together with the business community we are pursuing a national business initiative to follow "roadmaps" for improving the business climate, reduce administrative barriers, and simplify access to financial resources.

We are continuing to develop our financial infrastructure and are putting in place the right conditions for institutions that can put "long money" into the economy. Among the planned reforms is the project to establish a mega-regulator in consultation with the Russian Central Bank, which will be tasked with enhancing financial regulation standards and strengthening market participants' confidence.

We also continue to pay full attention to budget stability issues. Russia has one of the lowest government debt levels in the world. This year the so-called "budget rule" went into effect, designed to make our budget less dependent on oil prices. We are aware of our problems and will work consistently on making the budget process more predictable, and sustainable in the long run.

I want to stress how important the meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors are. By the time the G20 leaders arrive in Saint Petersburg in September, a number of important financial track issues have to be worked through and reported at the ministerial meetings in April and July, such as national medium-term fiscal strategies, long-term investment financing, IMF reform review, 'too big to fail' problem of financial institutions, derivatives markets reform, shadow banking, credit rating agencies, financial indices, OECD's plans on tax base erosion and profit shifting, financial inclusion and others. When it comes to some of the key issues, important to any country today, in current volatile economic conditions, discussions and agreements between the top finance ministers, their views and opinions cannot be underestimated.




LATEST EVENTS

27.09.2018 - Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN Security Council meeting, September 26, 2018

Mr President, Colleagues, In the modern world, an efficient fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is becoming increasingly important for global and regional stability and the reliable security of all states without exception. Constructive cooperation in this area is an important component of the efforts to shape a positive international agenda. I think everybody agrees that the UN Security Council resolutions that outline specific measures against violations of non-proliferation must be strictly observed. Resolution 1540 remains the basis for this and contains obligations for the member states to take specific measures to prevent non-government agents from accessing weapons of mass destruction and their components. The UNSC decisions taken in pursuance of this resolution are particularly important as they include sanctions for handing over any types of weapons to terrorists. There have been incidents of such handovers and they must be thoroughly investigated.


07.09.2018 - Remarks by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following the UNSC meeting on the incident in Salisbury

Q: Do you expect British sanctions on Russia soon? A: We are not expecting or afraid of anything. Taking to the account how things have been developing during the recent years we do not exclude anything. This discussion and yesterday’s speech by the British Prime-Minister in the British Parliament are not coincidental. I think that’s looks like a prelude to a new political season. Q: So, Ambassador it’s really coming from the highest level in the UK. A: It always comes from the highest level. Last time when the incident took place it also came from the highest level. Q: But it seems that you are not taking it seriously. A: We are taking it very seriously. We were saying it all the time. Why we’ve been asking for cooperation with the UK from day one. Only few minutes ago Ambassador Pierce was referring to an ultimatum that Boris Johnson made in his letter to the Russian Ambassador in London when the incident took place presented as a request by the British site to cooperate while in fact it was a demand to to accept the gilt. At the same time our requests which we sent to British authorities constantly through OPCW and bilaterally were ignored.


06.09.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at Bolshaya Igra (Great Game) talk show on Channel One, Moscow, September 4, 2018

Question: Today we have a special guest in our studio, one of the main participants in the “great game”, someone the future of the world really depends on in many ways: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. We are happy to welcome you in the Great Game studio. Sergey Lavrov: Thanks for inviting me.


22.08.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's comment on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's anti-Russian claims

At a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's urges to European partners to slap their own sanctions on Russia in connection with the Salisbury incident.


16.08.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Salisbury Journal"

The Russian Ambassador said he stands together with the people of Salisbury in a meeting with the Journal last week, as the United States announced new sanctions against the country. Speaking at his official residence in Kensington Palace Gardens on Thursday, Alexander Yakovenko said: “We are together with the people of Salisbury.”


24.06.2018 - Greeting by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for the Znaniye school Family Day (Ealing, 24 June 2018)

Dear friends and guests, I am delighted to welcome you at a Family Day celebrating Russia and the World Cup. Today, Russia is the place to be for the whole world. It is a great pleasure to hear fans from all continents appreciating Russia’s hospitality, friendliness and openness to everyone. Right now, people from virtually every country see the 11 host cities, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals on the border of Europe and Asia, and realize how diverse and beautiful our country is. We’d like to bring a bit of Russia and the excitement of the World Cup to Ealing, for those who couldn’t make it to the tournament. By the way, so far both our teams are doing very well, and let us hope they keep up this good work. We cheer for both Russia and England but I’m afraid this can change if both teams meet at the semi-finals.


20.06.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Primakov Readings international forum, Moscow, May 30, 2018

Mr Dynkin, Colleagues and friends, Ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful for a new opportunity to speak at the international forum named after Academician Evgeny Primakov, an outstanding Russian statesman, academic and public figure. It is indeed a great honour for me. I consider Mr Primakov, with whom I worked at the Foreign Ministry in the latter half of the 1990s, my senior comrade and teacher, as probably do the majority of those who crossed paths with him at one point. Holding this representative conference under the aegis of one of Russia’s leading academic institutes – National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) that also bears Primakov’s name – has become a good tradition. The Primakov Readings have earned a reputation as a venue for serious dialogue of authoritative specialists on the most pressing issues of international politics and the global economy. Today, there is no lack of buzzwords used by politicians, experts and scientists to capture the current moment in international relations. They talk about the crisis of the “liberal world order” and the advent of the post-Western era, “hot peace” and the “new cold war”. The abundance of terms itself shows that there is probably no common understanding of what is happening. It also points to the fairly dynamic and contradictory state of the system of international relations that is hard to characterise, at least at the present stage, with one resounding phrase. The authors of the overarching theme of the current Primakov Readings probably handled the challenge better than others. In its title “Risks of an unstable world order’ they provocatively, and unacademically, combine the words “unstable” and “order”.


21.04.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's talking points at the Press Conference, 20 April 2018

Since we met last time a lot of events took place: - Military strikes of the United States, UK and France against Syria in violation of the international law - Mission by OPCW inspectors to Douma - Speech of Prime Minister May in Parliament in support of the British aggression against Syria - Special meeting of the OPCW Executive Council (18 April 2018) - New developments in the classified case of Salisbury poisoning of Skripal family - No meaningful developments on the Glushkov case - and Cyber security threats I plan to comment all these issues. And I will be happy to answer all our questions, if you have any.


17.03.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Mail on Sunday" (full text)

Q: Bearing in mind that the US, France and Germany have said they agree with Britain that all the evidence suggests the attacks in Salisbury were the responsibility of the Russian state, what credibility can be placed on the denials issued by the Russian Government? A:We don't know if UK presented any evidence to US, France and Germany - highly likely none - but if they did, why not present it through the channels outlined in the Chemical Weapons Convention? Universal legal principle is presumption of innocence, and the burden of proof lies with the British Government. Its record includes the Iraq WMD dossier - you will remember that at some point doubting US and UK claims was considered a wild conspiracy theory. It is not any more.


26.01.2018 - Main foreign policy outcomes of 2017

In 2017, Russian diplomacy addressed multidimensional tasks to ensure national security and create a favourable external environment for our country's progressive development. Russia maintained an independent foreign policy, promoted a unifying agenda, and proposed constructive solutions to international problems and conflicts. It developed mutually beneficial relations with all interested states, and played an active role in the work of the UN, multilateral organisations and forums, including the G20, BRICS, the SCO, the OSCE, and the CSTO. Among other things, Russian policy has sought to prevent the destabilisation of international relations, and this responsible policy has met with broad understanding in the international community.



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