18 October 2019
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593 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     585 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Grigory Karasin’s interview with Izvestia, May 14, 2019

Question: How do you assess the results of the presidential election in Ukraine? What do you think caused such an advantage in favour of a candidate without any political experience, which played a historic role?

Grigory Karasin: The presidential campaign that has ended in Ukraine can hardly be described as a model of democratic, free and independent expression of will. Numerous violations and falsifications were mentioned in reports from international monitoring missions and in comments by the campaign participants and local observers. The authorities in Kiev used this campaign as just another chance to whip up the anti-Russian hysteria. Most of the candidates, including the current head of state, Petr Poroshenko, made use of frantic Russophobic rhetoric in an effort to divert voter attention from serious problems inside the country.

Despite all the campaign technology and administrative tricks used by the ruling elite, the citizens of Ukraine clearly expressed their negative attitude towards Poroshenko’s failed policy and their hope of change for the better.

Question: Does Russia ultimately recognise the results of the presidential election in Ukraine?

Grigory Karasin: Moscow takes note of the election results. The viability and effectiveness of the new Ukrainian leadership will largely be determined by its willingness to adequately assess the current realities and the challenges facing the country, to take responsibility for the decisions made, including the settlement of the Donbass crisis on the basis of the Minsk Agreements.

Question: What prospects have emerged for resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine since the change of government in Kiev?

Grigory Karasin: It is yet difficult to talk about the prospects for an internal Ukrainian settlement; too little time has passed since the change of government in Kiev. Moreover, president elect Vladimir Zelensky has not even taken office yet. The statements made by him personally and his team members are sometimes contradictory and do not give a real idea of the new Ukrainian leader’s political programme. We hope that after his inauguration, Zelensky will more clearly define his priorities, including the settlement in Donbass. So let's not jump ahead of ourselves or make hasty conclusions.

Question: In what format is Moscow ready to work with the new Ukrainian government? How does Russia feel about Vladimir Zelensky’s proposal to involve the USA and Great Britain in the negotiating process on Donbass?

Grigory Karasin: As to the proposals regarding the United States and UK joining the Normandy format, here, first of all, one should focus on the actual expected effect of such a change. It seems that, in its present form, this negotiating format has worked well enough. Suffice it to mention the Package of Measures developed by Minsk, which was approved by Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk, and subsequently by the UN Security Council. To this day, these agreements remain the only basis for the reconciliation, its roadmap.

Other important agreements that could really advance the peace process were reached at the highest level in Paris and Berlin in 2015-2016, also in the Normandy format. It is not our fault that their implementation has not yet been achieved.

A conclusion suggests itself. The point is not the specific participants of any negotiating format, but the absence of political will on the Ukrainian side to fulfill its commitments. We expect that Zelensky will act responsibly and will not avoid direct dialogue with his fellow citizens in Donbass. This is the main guarantee of progress towards a sustainable peace in Ukraine.

Question: Moscow reacted with restraint to Vladimir Zelensky’s victory, noting that the voting result reflects the hope of Ukrainians for change. Are there any prospects for change in Russian-Ukrainian relations? Is there a feeling that Petr Poroshenko’s policies have destroyed the traditional ties to such an extent that it is almost impossible to normalise bilateral cooperation?

Grigory Karasin: As President Vladimir Putin said, we really want to normalise relations with Ukraine, and are ready to restore them in full, but we cannot do it unilaterally.

This cannot be done without Kiev. However, up to now, they have acted on the “breaking is not making” principle and, regardless of the damage to the interests of the country and its people, they consciously destroyed everything that still somehow linked Ukraine with Russia. I cannot say how this might change with Zelensky. Poroshenko’s legacy on the Russian track is a heavy burden of problems. How Kiev will now approach them, whether the new Ukrainian government will make an effort to clear our bilateral relations from the artificially-created barriers and obstacles of the past five years will determine the future of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation.



17.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 18th meeting of heads of special services, security agencies and law-enforcement organisations of foreign states, Sochi, October 16, 2019

Mr Bortnikov, Colleagues, The annual forums of the heads of special services, security agencies and law-enforcement organisations held by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) are regarded by right as a unique format of an international dialogue of top professionals.

15.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answer to a question from Channel One following President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, October 14, 2019

Question: Ahead of the visit, it was called historic. Did it justify the description? Sergey Lavrov: The visit is historic in the sense that it is taking place for the first time during President Putin’s second term and reflects a qualitatively new level of our relations compared with his visit in 2007 and even compared with last year’s visit to the Russian Federation by His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

15.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Russia 24 Channel for Interview with Maria Bondareva programme, Moscow, October 14, 2019

Question: We are living in a time of “fake news” and “information plants” and there are instances of wiretapping, hacking of mailboxes, etc. What should a 21st century diplomat be aware of? Do they teach this sort of thing at MGIMO? Sergey Lavrov: I do not think a diplomat needs to be aware of the technical or technological methods of hacking, wiretapping or anything like that. A diplomat should be prepared to see the information space flooded by fake and false news. Amateurs, including hackers, and states are doing this as well. Our Government and relevant services have repeatedly provided statistics on the number of hacking attempts at the websites of our government agencies, including the security services, intelligence, the Foreign Ministry, the Central Bank and Sberbank. Clearly, we will have to live with that for a long time.

11.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions following a meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers, Ashgabat, October 10, 2019

We are grateful to our Turkmen hosts for their excellent work in organising the CIS Foreign Ministers Council of work. Today marks the completion of the approval process for an important document initiated by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. I am talking about the Action Programme for enhancing the partnership between the foreign ministries of the CIS member states. This important document outlines our upcoming work with international organisations and at other venues, including regional organisations, such as the OSCE. It is very useful.

11.10.2019 - Statement by H.E. Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW, at the 92nd session of the OPCW Executive Council, The Hague, October 8, 2019

Mr Chairperson, Mr Director General, Ladies and gentlemen, First, allow me to welcome Ambassador Andrea Perugini at the head of the Executive Council. We would like to assure you, Mr Chairperson, of our full support and readiness for constructive work so that this year’s last regular session of the council will be as successful as possible.

04.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Asharq Al-Awsat pan-Arab daily, October 3, 2019

Question: Today, many are talking about the emergence of a new world order with a balance of forces that is different from what we observed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Do you agree with this idea? Sergey Lavrov: The year 1991 drew a line under the era of bipolar confrontation. There was a real chance to build a fair, sustainable, cooperation-based world order that would meet the interests of all participants of international affairs without exception.

03.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to Channel One questions Sochi, October 2, 2019

Question: There is some concern that President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky is not always capable of going the whole way to fulfil his obligations. Is there a Plan B regarding the Minsk Agreements? Sergey Lavrov: There cannot be any Plan B. The Minsk Agreements is the foundation on which everything else must be built. On the practical side, the Steinmeier Formula is a compromise solution compared to the original text of the Minsk Agreements approved by the UN Security Council.

03.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during the Valdai International Discussion Club’s panel on Russia’s policy in the Middle East, Sochi, October 2, 2019

Mr Kortunov, colleagues, Thank you for inviting me to the Valdai Forum and this discussion panel. I am grateful to the hosts for choosing the situation in the Near and Middle East as a discussion topic. It is the cradle of many civilisations and world religions. Now that it has turned into a platform for, to put it bluntly, reckless experiments that lead to tragic consequences, this topic has become very acute.

30.09.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions following the High-Level Week of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 27, 2019

It is gratifying that you are interested in our attitude to international matters, the work of the UN General Assembly and the participation of the Russian delegation in it. As usual, we have a packed schedule that includes dozens of meetings with the heads of state and government and their foreign ministers, talks with the UN Secretary-General and the President of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, as well as traditional contacts with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and within the framework of BRICS, the CSTO and the Middle East Quartet.

30.09.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper

Question: What will you tell US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the visa situation? Sergey Lavrov: This is obvious. They have denied visas to ten of our staff members, and this is only as regards the Foreign Ministry.

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