19 January 2020
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686 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     678 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.



16.01.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at a plenary session of the Raisina Dialogue international conference, New Delhi, January 15, 2020

Good morning and bon appetit to those who have some food on their tables. I would like first of all to thank the organisers of this conference for the invitation. I understand this is a young forum, but it managed already in a few years to acquire importance, popularity and reputation. It is indeed very appropriate that we get together more often than in the past to discuss where we are in international relations and which way we are heading.

15.01.2020 - Interview of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the Times of India newspaper, published on January 15, 2020

Question: What areas of cooperation will be in the focus of your visit to India and will determine the strategic partnership between the two states in 2020? What do you think about the Indian-Russian cooperation in general? Sergey Lavrov: This is a special year for our countries. Twenty years ago, India and Russia signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership.

14.01.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's letter to the Times in response to the Polish Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki on World War II

Sir, Polish Ambassador Rzegocki, in his letter published on 9 January, proposes to “question the USSR’s status as liberator”, claiming that Molotov-Ribbentrop pact “sparked the war and a double totalitarian invasion of Poland”. Let me suggest to my Polish colleague to look deeper into the history of that time.

14.01.2020 - Interview of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the Daily News Sri Lankan newspaper, published on January 13, 2020

Question: Since the end of the Cold War and the inception of the multipolar world order, you have spent many years engaged in international affairs and geopolitics. Are there any peculiarities in the relations between Sri Lanka and Russia originating in that period? Sergey Lavrov: The relations between our states have always been intrinsically valuable and independent from international developments. They have always been and continue to be based on the principles of equality, trust, mutual respect and consideration of one another's interests. The peculiarities specific to certain periods of history are of marginal significance, since they do not affect the inviolability of the bonds of friendship uniting our peoples.

19.12.2019 - President Vladimir Putin replies to a BBC question during his annual press conference Moscow, 19 December 2019

I know what the interests of my country are. And whatever somebody might say about me, this has no importance whatsoever when compared to the fundamental tasks that Russia is interested in solving. But of course, we see, we hear, we understand and we take those views into consideration in our work.

18.12.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article Neighbours in Europe. Russia-EU: Thirty Years of Relations for Rossiyskaya Gazeta, December 18, 2019

Thirty years ago, on December 18, 1989, Brussels hosted the signing of the Agreement on Trade and Commercial and Economic Cooperation between the USSR and the European communities. This date became the point of departure for official relations between Russia as the successor state of the USSR and the European Union. Symbolically, the Agreement was signed slightly over a month after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that came down in history as a landmark signifying the end of the Cold War, a period, when the continent was divided into two opposing ideological blocs. The founders of the Russia-EU partnership knew that it would be impossible to erase the centuries-old divides on the continent unless a broad framework for cooperation was created in Europe. Both sides intended to make it mutually beneficial, long-term, and resistant to economic and political fluctuations.

06.12.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 26th OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, Bratislava, December 5, 2019

Mr Chairperson-in-Office, Mr Secretary General, Ladies and Gentlemen, First of all, allow me to thank Slovakia’s Chairmanship for its hospitality. Here in Bratislava, where Western and Eastern Europe meet, we are reminded that the purpose of our organisation is to facilitate the emergence of shared security through cooperation, as well as the removal of dividing lines and the growth of mutual trust. The goal adopted at the 2010 Astana summit of building a community of equal, comprehensive and indivisible security should remain our utmost priority. Today, CSTO foreign ministers adopted a statement to this effect, reaffirming their commitment to this objective.

29.11.2019 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s speech at the opening of the V Russian-British Business Forum in London, 27 November 2019

Ladies and gentlemen! I am pleased with the opportunity to deliver my first speech as Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom at the Russian-British Business Forum. Over the five years, the Forum has become a solid platform for open and direct dialogue and exchange of views, involving both business community and officials. The number of participants has been growing annually. Together, we have managed to create a constructive atmosphere of partnership.

28.11.2019 - Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov’s reply to a media question concerning the recent statement of the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff

Q: How would you comment on the statement made by the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nicholas Carter that the UK is in a state of cyber war with Russia? Has London raised this matter with Moscow? Has the British side provided any evidence? A.: This is not the first statement of this sort made by the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff, General Carter, and it certainly needs to be considered in the context of the large-scale anti-Russian propaganda campaign launched by the British government.

21.11.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Moscow, November 20, 2019

We have had very good talks with my Bahraini colleague and friend, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, and we have reached agreements on all the issues we discussed.

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