22 October 2018
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Briefing of Press Attache of Russian Embassy: "Russia’s G20 Presidency: Outcomes"

Russia’s G20 Presidency, now drawing to a close, was a success. One of the factors that secured this success was that Russia has been able to develop a unifying summit agenda reflecting major aspirations of both developed states and emerging economies. The interests of the least developed countries have found a proper representation as well.

Russia has made a wide range of innovative suggestions, which have been fleshed out in action plans and commitments of the participants. The ideas applied to economic growth stimulation, fiscal consolidation, expansion of employment, countering the erosion of taxation base, investments in the real sector, promotion of international development and a number of other issues.

Another strength of Russia’s G20 Presidency has been the unprecedented openness and outreach programme through an intensive dialogue with international and regional organisations, businesses and civil society. The St Petersburg summit has also highlighted the growing influence of the BRICS within the G20.

Russia’s G20 Presidency priorities took into account that the world economy is in a better shape than five years ago, in the wake of the global financial crisis. Economic growth is increasingly apparent despite considerable downside risks. Among the remaining issues are low global GDP growth rates, exceptionally high unemployment, insufficient investment in the real sector, persistence of fiscal problems in the US, Japan and the eurozone. A new challenge is a slowdown in emerging economies.

That is why the main priority of our presidency was growth and employment stimulation, primarily through investment, effective regulation and market confidence-building. Important decisions, taken in this regard at the St Petersburg Summit, included the St Petersburg Action Plan which put forward for G20 nations specific strategies aimed at achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth. These take into account the need to combine policies to foster growth with medium-term fiscal consolidation goals and include steps to regulate labour markets and taxation, to develop human capital, upgrade infrastructure, etc. Such measures should increase confidence of financial markets to encourage them to invest more into the real sector, which is in itself an important step towards long-term stabilization of global and national economies.

Another important topic for the Russian Presidency was job creation. Russia has introduced a new integrated approach to policy in this area, taking into account macroeconomic, financial, fiscal, social and educational factors. For the first time in G20’s history, Russia hosted a joint finance and labour ministerial meeting with special attention paid to employment of vulnerable social groups.

Investment financing has become another innovation of the Russian Presidency. The goal is to find the most effective ways to improve investment climate and increase long-term investment flows. Important decisions have already been made in this regard by the leaders at the Summit, including development of high-level principles of long-term investment financing.

Once again, G20 has confirmed the importance of sound multilateral trade, including interaction within the WTO. Importantly, the leaders have agreed to extend their “standstill” commitments on protectionism until 2017, confirmed their willingness to increase transparency in international trade.

A new topic for G20, supported by the UK Presidency in G8, was the fight against tax base erosion and profit shifting, which we consider a deterrent to the attempts to erode soundness of national fiscal systems. The corresponding Action Plan and the agreement to jointly introduce a new tax information exchange standard were crucial in this regard.

Strengthening of global financial regulation continued to be one of the primary topics for the Russian Presidency. A comprehensive set of reforms is being implemented, including in such areas as the “too big to fail” problem and shadow banking regulation.

Other key topics discussed during the Summit and throughout our Presidency included fostering international development and assistance to HIPCs with a special progress report, fighting against corruption, encouraging energy cooperation, etc.

The Outreach Strategy was an important part of Russia’s G20 Presidency. It was aimed to win support from different outreach groups, such as Business 20, Think 20, Civil 20, Youth 20 and Labour 20, which all contributed to G20 policy-makers’ discussions and demonstrated great potential to deliver added value to the final G20 Summit documents.

Russia had a very constructive dialogue with UK Government, experts and outreach partners throughout the Presidency and we look forward to our continued co-operation with Australia as the next G20 Chair. Fruitful discussions with the Australians have already taken place in Moscow last week.

In Russia’s perspective, ongoing co-ordination of approaches in macro-economic policy issues is what makes the G20 so unique and relevant for all countries alike in current volatile global economic environment. We hope that Russia’s Presidency has contributed to the process of international co-operation, and we remain committed to our continued active participation in this important format.


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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