19 October 2018
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Article of the Ambassador-at-large, coordinator of the G20 affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vadim Lukov “BRICS as an important driver of G20 development”, published in the special international volume “G20 summit in St Petersburg under presidency of Russia”

There is a deep interconnection between the development of BRICS, on the one hand, and the development of G20, on the other hand. It is based on the process of formation of a multipolar global economy of the 21 century.

A qualitative strengthening of the G20 role as a tool of counteraction to the financial economic crisis and its consequences has become possible mainly due to the position of the countries with emerging market economy. BRICS members, whom South Africa joined in December 2010, have played the leading role here. Their support to anti-crisis measures – political in the line of G20 and financial in the line of IMF – has become an important factor contributing to the prevention of an uncontrolled growth of the crisis, mitigation of its consequences. On the other hand, BRICS partners have fairly viewed G20 as an arena of critical importance from the very beginning not only to agree on stabilisation measures, but also to promote their programme of reforming the international financial and economic architecture. Therefore, the formation of the G20 agenda is to a great extent the process of searching a compromise between not always coinciding aspirations of developed countries and countries with forming market economy.

The aspiration to advance common interests within the framework of G20, primarily in the area of reforming the Bretton Woods system, has become one of the most important factors of gradual rapprochement of BRICS members. This process can be clearly traced in the declarations adopted by leaders of BRICS countries on 2009-2012 summits.

The volume and the degree of detail of sections dedicated to the statement of common approaches of BRICS countries to the problems of G20 constantly increases.

The awareness of the importance of strengthening the coordination of work has lead BRICS members to a conclusion about the need to build up a proper interaction system at all levels. Currently it includes the discussion of key issues of G20 agenda both at scheduled summits of the forum and at informal meetings of leaders, which are conducted on the side-lines of G20 summits; meetings of ministers of finance and central bank governors on the side-lines of spring and autumn sessions of IMF/WB governors; meetings of BRICS sherpa countries within the G20.

This practice is not at all contrary to the spirit of the G20, as critics sometimes rebuke BRICS. Similar mechanisms of coordination of positions exist in the European Union, which is a large collective “player” in the G20. Participants of the financial G7 also coordinate their approaches to a whole range of issues.

Moreover: the coordinated line of BRICS within the G20 in many issues helps searching for compromises, increases the efficiency of work of the G20, and also the effectiveness of the global management system in the economic area.

Thus, in 2010, BRICS members were constructive partners in the search of a compromise resolution of the issue of reallocation of quotas and votes in the World Bank. The reached agreements resulted in the increase of the share of developing countries and countries with emerging economy in the WB by 3.13%, having reached 47.19% from the total number of votes of Bank’s shareholders. Thanks to the agreement reached between BRICS and G7 countries in October 2010 in Kenchzhu (Republic of Korea), they managed to lay the foundation for the decision of the IMF’s Board of Governors to conduct a new round of reforms of the Fund. Although practical implementation of this decision is not easy, the very fact of the first direct negotiations between representatives of BRICS countries and the financial G7 in Kenchzhu is quite symbolic.

By building their participation in the G20 on the basis of specific common interests, BRICS countries do not contrast themselves to other partners, constantly search things in common in their positions. This to a large extent contributed to the development of milestone agreements by G20 summits, such as Framework Agreement for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, Basel-III, “package” of measures for improving national and international surveillance of financial markets, Long-term action plan for the purposes of development, International cooperation mechanism for the purposes of preventing natural disasters in offshore mining and transportation of raw hydrocarbons.

BRICS countries make a noticeable contribution to the strengthening of the stability of the international monetary and financial system, which is one of the main strategic goals of the G20. In particular, in response to the appeal of the IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde, leaders of BRICS countries at their meeting in Las Cabos on 18 June 2012 made a consolidated decision about participation of credit resources of the Fund for the amount of 75 billion US dollars The PRC announced its decision to make a contribution of 43 billion US dollars, Russia, India and Brazil – 10 billion US dollars each, South Africa – 2 billion dollars.. At the same time it should be highlighted that taking into account this step, BRICS countries expect from IMF partners and its managements more active actions in reforming the Fund.

Russian presidency in the G20 in 2013 certainly reflects a broad consensus platform of all participants of this forum, the common vision of top-priority goals, when leading the global economy to a sustainable development trajectory. At the same time, the Russian programme fully takes into account specific approaches of countries with emerging market economy, which are promoted by BRICS. There are ample grounds to listen to their voice: more than 50% of growth of the global GDP account for the share of this group of countries of in the last two decades.

It is therefore natural that our BRICS partners actively supported the priorities of Russian presidency in the G20. Main of them are stimulation of investments into the real sector of economy, building of confidence and transparency on markets, effective regulation on all markets.

The Russian presidency speaks in favour of combining efforts of partners to develop decisions, which are able to speed up the global economic growth and to expand employment. Currently, these are the most pressing tasks taking into account the deceleration of global economy growth rates and preservation of unemployment at unacceptably high level in many regions of the world. Taking into account close interaction of problems of acceleration of economic growth and fiscal consolidation the development of initiatives for the improvement of national systems of public borrowings and sovereign debt administration is extremely important. The Russian presidency is also working actively in favour of the advancement of the IMF reform. The G20 shall give a political impulse to both directions of such reform: the development of agreements on reconsideration of the structure of quotas and votes of the IMF on the basis of the new formula of their calculation and distribution, as well as ratification of decisions of the IMF’s Board of Governors of 15 December 2010 fixing main parameters of the 14th round of the Fund management reform by shareholder states.

Critics of BRICS sometimes affirm that the role of association in the G20 and in the global economy generally declines due to the recent drop in their growth rates. However, the comparison of growth rates of economies of developed western countries and BRICS countries in 2011-2013 (taking into account the IMF forecast for the current year) shows preservation of the significant advances of BRICS countries.

Their annual growth rate in the specified period made 4.11% against 1.37% in the developed countries of the WestCalculated according to IMF’s statistical data: World Economic Outlook, October 2012.. Thus, the “weight” of BRICS countries in the global economy, and also in the G20, is still increasing (along with the growth of the role of the entire group of countries with emerging market economy).

BRICS participants are vitally interested in preservation and strengthening of the G20 role as the main forum of international economic cooperation of its participants. This position follows from the perception of the G20 as a global management structure, which most adequately reflects the realia of multipolar economy of the global world. At the same time, BRICS partners presume from the importance of taking into account not only interests of its participants, but of the entire international community in the work of the G20. BRICS participants, some of which participate in the Group of 77, the Non-Aligned Movement, regional structures in Africa, Asia and Latin America, are well informed about these aspirations and aspire to adequately reflect them in their approaches to the agenda of the G20. BRICS in the G20 acts not as a grouping pursuing some selfish interests, but as an authoritative mouthpiece of the majority of the countries with emerging market economics and the developing countries. BRICS advocates for the active dialogue of the G20 with the UN and its specialized organizations, regional integration associations. Such dialogue will allow strengthening the legitimacy of the G20 in the eyes of the surrounding world. And it will strengthen the support of its decisions by non-participants, without what it is hard to ensure sufficient efficiency of actions of the G20.

This approach is currently fully implemented by the Russian presidency through the programme of contacts in the outreach format.

The experience of participation of BRICS countries in the G20 shows that along with further strengthening of their financial and economic positions, the development of constructive dialogue with other partners within the G20, the contribution of BRICS into the work of this key international forum in the area of global economic management will grow.


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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