23 October 2018
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Interview with the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs S.V.Lavrov by TV Channel “Russia Today”, on 8 October 2013, Bali, Indonesia

Question: We’re joined on RT now by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from the fringes of the APEC summit here in Bali. Mr. Lavrov, thank you very much for your time, thank you for joining us here on RT. I’ll delve straight in, if it’s okay, and start to talk about Syria. You said on Monday that the Geneva II peace talks on Syria could be held as early as the beginning of November. But I’d just like to talk to you about some quotes attributed to President Bashar al-Assad over the weekend in Der Spiegel news magazine in Germany. He is quoted to say that he doesn’t necessarily believe a solution can be negotiated with some elements of the opposition, the extremist elements, saying, “By my definition, a political opposition isn’t armed.” I was just wondering, is that a sign that he is going to need more persuading to come around the table?

S.Lavrov: Well, first, I believe the possible dates for the conference were announced by the Secretary General of the United Nations during the General Assembly opening week. He consulted with us, the Americans, other members of the Permanent Five and he suggested to target mid-November. We would be ready to announce any day because our information is that the government is going to send a delegation and the main thing now is to make sure that the opposition participates and that the opposition is representative — not just one group of people who live outside Syria. We would like the opposition to represent the entire spectrum of the opponents of the regime, including the opposition which is active inside Syria, like the National Coordinating Committee, like the Supreme Council of Kurds. And this would be important for the conference to be really representative as the Security Council Resolution 2118 adopted on the occasion of Syria joining the Chemical Weapons Convention said. Because apart from the chemical disarmament, the resolution spoke about the need to convene the conference and to make sure that the full spectrum of the Syrian society is represented. Therefore, the conference would be successful if the opposition manages to bring all those who would like change in Syria, to negotiate with the delegation from the government. As to the interviews which President Assad has been giving very generously in the past weeks, I do believe that a situation which we have to handle in Syria is assessed more and more in the same manner by us, by the Americans, by the Europeans, by the countries of the region. And the situation is really deteriorating. The armed groups of the opposition are becoming split more and more. Recently there was news that some thirteen field commanders said that they would not be taking orders from the Free Syrian Army and from the National Coalition, which is the political wing of the Free Syrian Army, as far as I understand. And they would create, what they called a movement to introduce the Sharia law in Syria, and not only in Syria but in the adjacent areas. And then forty more groups said they would be creating an Islamic Front. These people are moving closer to al-Qaeda than to the Free Syrian Army, which is being portrayed as the secular armed opposition. So, the trend is in favor of jihadists, radicals, among those who fight on the ground. And it is not only our conviction — it is the conviction of the Americans — that we cannot and must not talk to these people. We can only talk to those who opt for the sovereign, territorially integral, secular, multiethnic, multiconfessional Syria. And therefore — I come back to the beginning of my answer — it is of crucial importance to have the right mix of the opposition groups to be represented at the conference. But, as the G8 leaders said in Lough Erne at the summit last June, we call all of them, all eight of them plus the European Union. They called upon the government and the opposition to join forces to fight the terrorists and extremists in Syria. I think it is a very important message which must not be overlooked.

Question: Last week Russian media quoted anonymous diplomatic sources as saying that chemical attacks on the suburbs of Damascus on August 21 were carried out by a Saudi Arabia-backed group. These were anonymous quotes. I was wondering, does Moscow have evidence to back this up?

S.Lavrov: I read those reports. We have been looking into the problem of chemical weapons use in Syria for many months now starting from March probably, when on March 19th there was an incident reported in the vicinity of Aleppo and the Syrian government asked the United Nations to investigate this specific incident. The United Nations under the pressure of our European friends refused to send the team just to investigate this incident; they demanded as a precondition access anywhere, everywhere to anyone in Syria and this demand looked very much like the regime under which Saddam Hussein was put when the United Nations was looking for the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And the Syrians said: look, we would be ready to negotiate further sites to be visited but this one is urgent, people died and it happened only a few days ago, why don’t you send your experts? No way. Then the Syrians asked us and we did send our experts who took these samples in full accordance with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons rules; we ensured the uninterrupted custody of the samples as they were delivered to an OPCW-certified laboratory and they were analyzed in Moscow and the results are available to the Security Council. We made them available, I think, in late June or in July and we are convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that this was the incident, the provocation staged by the opposition. The gas, which was a type of sarin, was homemade, the rocket was homemade, and some other facts established during this analysis point in the same direction. And we also have good reasons to believe that the August 21 incident was staged by the same group of people; the gas which was discovered and analyzed by the UN experts is very much of the same substance as the one used on March 19 except that the one which was used in August is much more concentrated, and some other facts which you can get from the inspectors’ report and from other sources readily available on the Internet and elsewhere, convince us that it was a provocation staged by the opposition. We do know that there’s so much evidence shown on the Internet and elsewhere indicating that some foreign countries or some representatives of foreign countries had something to do with it. We cannot say for certainty and we don’t want to accuse anyone unnecessarily and undeservedly, but since this evidence has been floating quite broadly, when the Security Council agreed on that Resolution 2118 on the chemical weapons of Syria, it included by consensus a special clause which says that we are categorically against any attempts to give chemical weapons or their components to non-state actors, that this is prohibited, and then the Security Council also by consensus called upon all member states, in particular on the neighbors of Syria, not to allow the use of their territory for the purposes of producing or delivering the chemical weapons or their components to the Syrian opposition. It’s a very important message and I do believe that this reflects that the seriousness with which members of the Security Council, all of them, take those reports which we are discussing.

Question: Going back to the idea of it being a provocation, it’s your firm belief that that is the case, why do you think you’ve struggled to convince the international community that that is the case?

S.Lavrov: I think quite a number of people have been biased from the very beginning. They have been obsessed with the projection of this situation as another manifestation of the Arab Spring, as the fight for democracy, for better life, against the tyrants, against the dictators and so on and so forth. And as the actual situation on the ground, as the real life was producing more and more facts that this is, to a large extent and more and more so, about radicals trying to get hold of this huge region, the people who already committed themselves to a different interpretation, they had difficulty admitting that they were wrong. But the truth and this understanding of the danger these radicals present to Syria and the North African region in general, it’s being understood more and more. And this was very obvious when we met with John Kerry and we basically said so at the press conference in New York and at the press conference here in Indonesia a couple of days ago.

Question: The process has begun, OPCW have begun the process of dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. You believe there’ve been a number of provocations already. Do you think there could be more? Is there a fear that the radical extremists could try and undermine this entire process?

S.Lavrov: I do believe that this is a very possible scenario and we would like to avoid it at any cost. Actually, the incident on August 21 happened when the UN inspectors eventually arrived in Syria and started doing their job. They were first subject to some sniper fire, and the culprits have not been found. And then there was this provocation under their nose. Just mere logic says that the government had no interest, had no advantage in doing this. That’s why, again, I come back to Resolution 2118. Given that sad experience, we agreed by consensus to write into this resolution that it is not only the government which must fully cooperate with the OPCW and the United Nations to finalize the program of disarmament. It’s also all other Syrian groups, the opposition, all of them, who would be responsible if something happens to the inspectors because of their provocations and who would also be responsible if they use again chemical weapons. Whoever uses chemical weapons would come to the Security Council to respond.

Question: Let’s move away from Syria but stay in the region, because America conducted a couple of commando raids in Africa over the course of the weekend in Libya and Somalia as part of their War on Terror. Do you believe that such action is making the region safer?

S.Lavrov: I think that whatever you do, you must be covered by international law. The international law regarding counterterrorism is not yet complete. There are some thirteen sectoral conventions on terrorist attacks in the high sea, nuclear terrorism and so on, and so forth. There is a draft of the comprehensive global convention on counterterrorism, which has being negotiated for more than 10 years, I think, because of basically one problem: some people believe that some of those who use terror as the means to achieve their political goals can't be called terrorists because they are freedom fighters. This is a contradiction, which is routed deeply in the recent history. Several decades ago, “freedom fighters” was a term coined to describe mujahedeen in Afghanistan and in some other countries. And then these freedom fighters turned into an organization which we now call al-Qaeda, which boomeranged on 9/11. So my point is: first, you cannot have good terrorists and bad terrorists. Second, you cannot strengthen the law by violating the law. If you say that your national law allows you to do something, it is fine as long as you do this inside your own territory. As long as you go international, you really have to be sure that there is an international law which you respect and which you follow. There is a lacuna in international law in quite a number of things, including situations when a known terrorist is fleeing all over the world and people hunt him. But again, the international law provides — at least the existing international law — in such cases provides for operatives of a country who is hunting to get in touch with law enforcement agencies of the country on whose territory the guy is, and then to agree and implement certain procedures. We would be very much in favor of making sure that we all fight terrorism in accordance with our national law, if it is our territory, and in accordance with international law, which, I admit, must be further developed.

Question: The alleged targets in these raids over the weekend were the mastermind behind the 1998 US embassy attacks in Africa and allegedly the man, or one of the men, behind the attack in the Westgate shopping center in Kenya, they were the individuals apparently being targeted. Is the US action here of targeting these individuals, is this an example of what president Vladimir Putin has recently described as American exceptionalism?

S.Lavrov: Well, I would not say that this is exactly an example of American exceptionalism, though the Americans do not deny that they want to be exceptional, they say they are exceptional. It doesn’t always help in a dialogue with people. You know, we, I wouldn’t go into the description of whether this is manifestation of exceptionalism or arrogance of power, whatever. We discussed with the United States similar cases when a couple of Russian citizens, one named Bout and another, Yaroshenko, were basically kidnapped, one from Thailand and another one from Liberia. First, they were approached by FBI agents posing as members of some drug cartel, and they were basically provoked into discussing an offer which they did not solicit. But the agents were persuading them to agree, to provide their services, airplanes, something else. And then they were arrested and brought to the United States in violation of the law of Thailand and in violation of the law of Liberia. They were given sentences, 20 and 25 years respectively, just for criminal intent, not for actual deed. And this criminal intent, by the opinion of many lawyers, was not sufficiently proved in the United States court of law. And we believe that this is not the way you handle international relations, it’s not the way you fight criminals, even before you prove that they are criminals, before they can testify to any court of law.

Question: Can we move on and talk about Iran, if that’s okay? Following the UN General Assembly in New York, there seems to be cautious optimism about Tehran’s new approach, perhaps not from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said that he fears that the United States is in the process or on the path to being duped by Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani. I just wondered what you made of Netanyahu’s assessment of that situation.

S.Lavrov: Certainly, we welcomed the mood which was prevailing on Iran during the General Assembly general debate – the statement of President Rouhani, the meetings with Minister Zarif who attended the meeting of the 3+3 group on the Iranian nuclear issue. Both President Rouhani and Minister Zarif said that they would like to resolve this issue and resolve it fast. They were saying 6-9 months would be enough if everyone cooperates. I agree. The main thing for Iran is to cooperate because Iran knows the questions which have been raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency supported by the Security Council. These questions have to be clarified fully, and we are gratified that Iran scheduled a meeting with IAEA experts exactly on this subject. They have to answer, I think, half a dozen or so questions, which have been with us for many years. Then Iran also agreed to have another round of negotiations, to resume the negotiations with the 3+3 group, which would also take place later this month. And Iran has a legitimate right to know the endgame as they said. And the endgame, as far as we are concerned, as President Putin repeatedly stated, should be recognition of the Iranian right to the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including the right to enrich uranium for the fuel purposes only, provided Iran closes all the issues with the IAEA and puts its entire nuclear program under full and strict control of the agency. It's a very elaborate and exhaustive statement, and I think if other members of the 3+3 group reiterate this position, then it would be easy for us and Iranians to set a road map, a step-by-step approach when Iran takes a step expected from it by the international community and the international community relieves sanctions to some extent. And then, as we progress on this action-for-action basis, we must arrive to a point where everyone would be satisfied that Iranian nuclear program is entirely peaceful. And then Iran should be out of any sanctions, both the sanctions imposed by the Security Council but also unilateral sanctions. As for the statements regarding Iranians playing another game and trying to dupe people, I haven't seen any confirmation by any intelligence - be it Russian, be it European, be it United States, be it Mossad, which would categorically say that Iranian leadership has taken a political decision to have a military nuclear program. No intelligence agency on earth was able so far to make this conclusion. And we spoke to the American colleagues just recently. They agreed that Iran hasn't taken a political decision to go military in its nuclear program, and therefore we all must avoid statements, which would just antagonize the parties to these negotiations and concentrate on a chance which we certainly have now.

Question: What about Israel’s suspicions, let’s say, of Tehran? Is there a concern that Israel’s position could influence Washington and perhaps jeopardize the resumption of the nuclear talks?

S.Lavrov: No, I don’t think so. I think the Israeli position is motivated by, you know, conviction that the Iranian nuclear bomb would be absolutely, existentially unacceptable for Israel, but it is unacceptable for anyone. We are categorically against any new military nuclear powers to appear on this earth, be it Iran, be it North Korea, be it anyone. But to make sure that this is not the case, we have to resolve this type of situations by negotiations and not by threats and not by military strikes. Because as you put all your emphasis on resolving this by force, there would be more and more countries who would say: you see, Iran didn’t have a bomb and yet it was bombed. So let’s think how we can take care of our own security. And then the risks to proliferation of nuclear technologies and chemical weapons and biological weapons will be multiplied. So any threats of use of force to resolve issues like this are absolutely counterproductive from the point of view of our common goal to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.

Question: Okay, thank you very much. Let’s change tack and talk about, if this is okay, the Greenpeace activists who’ve been arrested by Russian authorities. Moscow’s saying its actions are in full compliance with international law yet the Dutch government is launching a legal campaign to try and get the people being held freed. I was just wondering what the very latest on that situation was, if you can bring us up to date with the very latest.

S.Lavrov: The very latest from the Netherlands unfortunately is not about Greenpeace but about unacceptable treatment of a Russian diplomat whose apartment was forcefully opened and who was apprehended by police for several hours in gross violation of any diplomatic conventions, Vienna Conventions and the rest, without any explanations. Well, the explanation was given that somebody told the police that he and his wife were maltreating the kids, two and four-year-old kids, which is absolutely unacceptable apart from any diplomatic privileges. The police has no right to enter an apartment of a diplomat. And we expect our Dutch friends to issue an explanation, to issue an apology, and to punish those who violated the Vienna Convention. This happened in the Hague, the seat of the International Court of Justice, and this is absolutely absurd. On the Greenpeace issue, we have been hearing about the activities of this vessel, Arctic Sunrise, for many years. They have been engaging in provocations all over the world. In all cases they were punished, one way or another; they were paying big amount of penalty in some countries – and we have been warning our Dutch colleagues in advance that they should really take a close look at what this vessel under the Dutch flag is going to do in the Arctic waters in dangerously close to the platform which was working in the Pechora Sea. Well, the legal procedures are under way, the Dutch initiated an arbitrage procedure, so let's rely on the legal procedures.

Question: Going back to the situation with the Russian diplomat in the Netherlands. Has Russia considered a response to this?

S.Lavrov: We must today, not later, get an explanation from the Dutch government, an apology – it’s absolutely unavoidable. And then we need to know what disciplinary measures would be taken in regard to these police officers. And then, when we get a reaction on this demand, then we will see how we will handle the relations further.

Question: The final subject I want to talk to you about if that’s okay is Afghanistan, because drug trafficking from Afghanistan is an increasing problem for Russia. I was just wondering what Moscow has planned for when NATO take troops withdraw, with that NATO withdrawal imminent, what Moscow’s plans are to try and counter this problem?

S.Lavrov: Well, this has been discussed for a couple of years already in the expectation of this withdrawal of ISAF, but this was discussed not just inside Moscow but with our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization and also in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which uniquely comprises, either as members or as observers, Afghanistan and all its neighbors. And there is a special program in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on fighting drug trafficking from Afghanistan. The Collective Security Treaty Organization is also engaged very closely. It conducts regularly the operation called Canal to intercept drug caravans on the outer perimeter of Afghan borders. Certainly, it would be much more efficient not to fight symptoms but to fight the root cause, which involves destroying drug production inside Afghanistan, drug laboratories, heroin laboratories especially. And we have been proposing as the Collective Security Treaty Organization to NATO as the backbone of ISAF to establish cooperative arrangement in real time: NATO reports to us what kind of caravans are moving so that on the outer perimeter of Afghan borders it would be easier to intercept them. NATO consistently for the last eight years, I think, is avoiding entering into this type of relationship. My hunch is they are doing this for ideological purposes, not being willing to see the Collective Security Treaty Organization as an equal in this partnership, which is a pity, because for wrongly understood prestige we are losing the efficiency in the fight against drug industry.

Question: Are you hopeful for the future of Afghanistan? I mean, there’s the presidential election next year, the NATO troop withdrawal – I mean, do you feel that the security situation is set to improve in Afghanistan?

S.Lavrov: There are so many unknowns! ISAF withdrawal is explained by the fact that by that time, by the end of next year, the Afghan security forces, the Afghan army would be in a position to take control of law and order in the country. So far, the trend is the opposite. And the closer the date of withdrawal is, the more evidence we have that Afghan security forces are not going to be ready. There are serious problems in the security sector, there are problems with the Taliban who do not want to get into the national dialogue with the government, who only want to talk to the Americans, which is unacceptable to the government for obvious reasons. And as this procrastinates, as the game is being played with the Taliban bypassing the Afghan government, we are getting closer to the situation when the Taliban would not be even interested in discussing government of national unity; they would be only interested in taking power one hundred percent, which would be an invitation for another war in Afghanistan. So we certainly hope that all Afghan groups, political, ethnic, religious, Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Hazara, can get together, including the reasonable leaders of the Taliban, and start discussing the future of their country. It's high time to do this. And presidential elections, of course, are a landmark which should be taken into account. It's up to the Afghans to decide exactly when they want to have this campaign. But unless we have an inclusive process, I'm not very optimistic about any political solution to the situation in Afghanistan. And of course, a related matter is the fact that while withdrawing from Afghanistan the contingents of ISAF, the Americans and some other NATO countries are planning a residual presence. The information is that some nine quite fortified military bases are being constructed inside Afghanistan. We ask questions about what is the purpose for this remaining presence, and we are told that this is for training purposes and just for some sting operations in case of necessity. It's still not very transparent. And we discuss this with our American colleagues regularly, we have a special channel to discuss the Afghan matters, and we want to get full clarity about the purpose of this presence, because in combination with the attempts which they undertake every now and then with one or another Central Asian country to negotiate presence there, it raises a question as to what is the reason for this, because the ISAF is being withdrawn under the explanation that the mission has been accomplished. First, I don't think anyone believes that the mission has been accomplished. Second, if it has been accomplished, then why do you want residual presence? And if this presence is projected outside Afghanistan, then certainly we would like to know what is it about. Is it Central Asia? Is it Iran? Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and of the Collective Security Treaty Organization would like to know everything, you know, without any exception, because this is a region next to our doors. Russia, China, Central Asian countries, Iran... We certainly believe that cooperation with international community to resolve the problems of this region is very important, and we are open for this. But the international community – in this case, our Western colleagues – must be transparent on what they are planning to do in this region. They come there, and we would like to know with what plans.


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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