15 July 2020
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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei, Moscow, May 27, 2019

Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei and I had a substantive discussion on bilateral issues of cooperation. 

Our countries are time-tested allies and strategic partners. Our fraternal peoples are linked by a common history, as well as cultural and spiritual roots. This year is special in Russian-Belarusian relations. In December it will be 20 years since the signing of the Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus. Cooperation within this framework is indeed comprehensive and the questions that inevitably arise during such an intensive dialogue are invariably resolved in the spirit of teamwork and mutual respect. We agreed to draft a list of events to celebrate this anniversary.

We analysed the implementation of the 2018-2019 Programme of coordinated foreign policy action by the member states of the Treaty establishing the Union State. We agree on the adoption of two-year programmes and consider them to be a fairly effective instrument for coordinating the actions of Moscow and Minsk, including within the UN, the OSCE and other international formats. We plan to sign the relevant document at the joint session of the collegiums of our foreign ministries that will take place next autumn. These are annual events for us. We meet in Moscow and in Minsk in turn.

We verified our positions in the context of the forthcoming meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Council in Nur-Sultan. We agreed that the Eurasian integration agreement has proven in practice that it is in high demand. The desire of many states and integration associations to cooperate with the EAEU is a graphic confirmation of this.

We agreed to continue providing diplomatic support for EAEU activities and to work on the development of the Greater Eurasian Partnership with the participation of all interested countries on our large continent – both the Asian and European parts.

We touched on the issue of relations with the European Union and supported their development exclusively on the principles of equality and mutual benefit. We hope that Brussels will fully consider the realities of Eurasian integration and start developing a systematic, sustainable dialogue between the European Commission and the Eurasian Economic Commission.

We talked about the non-proliferation of weapons and expressed concern about increasing NATO activity near our borders. We noted that such steps lead to the escalation of tensions in the Euro-Atlantic Region. Russia and Belarus urge their Western partners to respect the principle of equal and indivisible security and comply with the relevant commitments, including those assumed by the OSCE. In brief, our common goal is to return to the fundamental principles of the Final Act and give it a new lease on life to overcome this crisis of confidence.

We reviewed the situation in Ukraine proceeding from the need to fully and consistently implement the Minsk Package of Measures that was approved by a UN Security Council resolution. Moscow hopes that the new Ukrainian government will display political will and that the process of settling the crisis in the country’s southeast will finally make progress.

We discussed many other foreign policy issues.

We are satisfied with the results of the talks. We will continue maintaining a close dialogue, in particular, we will prepare a joint session of foreign ministry collegiums.

Question: Did you discuss your work on the action plan to implement the provisions of the Union State Treaty? What do you think about the progress in this area in general? Can you name “the pain points” on which we are unable to agree as yet?

Sergey Lavrov (speaking after Vladimir Makei): No one questions the treaty. However, life has not stood still in the past 20 years. We must bring our practical moves in conformity with the provisions of the treaty, based on current realities.

I will answer your question on progress in the affirmative. Mr Makei just talked about it. I wouldn’t call “pain points” the remaining 30 percent, to use this phrase. These are simply issues that require a final review. I am convinced that solutions for all of them will be found. It is also well known that we resolve issues on a daily basis given the tremendous scale of economic, trade and other exchanges. Both sides recognise the strategic importance of the programme of action that is being drafted. It is in the common, fundamental interests of Russia and Belarus to find agreements on the remaining issues.

Question: When do Russia and Belarus plan to sign an agreement on the mutual recognition of visas?  Could this be signed before the end of 2019?

Sergey Lavrov: We talked about this today as well as about other documents that are being worked on. There are a lot of them. Our relations are not just marking time; they are being continuously strengthened. The procedures on this document are moving to a close, making it possible to sign it in the foreseeable future.

Question (for both ministers): The anniversary meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council timed to the fifth anniversary of signing the Treaty on the EAEU will take place in Nur-Sultan the day after tomorrow. What do you think about the performance of this integration association? What has been done? What challenges are facing the union now?

Sergey Lavrov: The EAEU has obviously made it. Trade between the members is growing consistently. Trade between the Five and our foreign partners is also on the upsurge. I would say without exaggeration that there is a queue of those who want to sign agreements on liberalising trade with the EAEU. The first free-trade area agreement was signed with Vietnam and is already in effect. A temporary agreement was signed with Iran. Talks are underway with Singapore, Israel and many other states, including some outside Europe, for instance with Latin America where the EAEU has good contacts with MERCOSUR and a number of other sub-regional associations in Latin America and the Caribbean.   

To sum up, we have plans for developing the union. We have established common markets for goods, capital, services and a workforce. We are liberalizing trade, investment and other activities. We have a schedule for forming common markets, for instance a common market on energy sources, which is now being carried out and determines our work in all of these areas.


In conclusion I would like to say that our talks were attended by new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev who will leave for his new post on June 2. Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei and I wish him every success in his new office.


14.07.2020 - Foreign Ministry statement on the fifth anniversary of concluding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

Five years ago, on July 14, 2015, the foreign ministers of Great Britain, Germany, Iran, China, Russia, France and the United States, with the participation of the EU, concluded settlement agreements for the Iranian nuclear programme that were unique in their scope and reach. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action driven by the common political will of the countries participating in its development and reinforced by UNSC Resolution 2231 was a major achievement of multilateral diplomacy. It showed the benefits and effectiveness of the decisions made during the talks that prevailed over approaches based on threats, pressure and brute force.

09.07.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a news conference following political consultations between the foreign ministers of Russia and three African Union countries (South Africa, Egypt and the Congo) via videoconference, Moscow, July 8, 2020

Colleagues, Today, we held the first political consultation meeting at the foreign minister level between Russia and three members of the African Union. This mechanism was established after the first Russia-Africa Summit held in Sochi last October. These countries are the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are the former, current and next presidents of the African Union.

24.06.2020 - President Vladimir Putin's speech at the military parade marking 75th anniversary of Great Victory, 24 June 2020

People of Russia, Our dear veterans, Foreign guests, Soldiers and sailors, sergeants, warrant officers and ensigns, Officers, generals and admirals, I wish you all the best on the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. A victory that determined the future of the planet for decades to come and went down in history as the grandest in its scale, significance and moral value. This year, the traditional Victory Day celebrations are being held in Russia on June 24. Exactly 75 years ago, the legendary victors paraded right here, along the Kremlin wall, to commemorate the end of the Great Patriotic War. That parade went down in history as a triumph of unprecedented scale, the triumph of good over evil, of peace over war, and life over death.

19.06.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei, Minsk, June 19, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to our Belarusian friends for the warm welcome accorded to our delegation.

18.06.2020 - Article by President of Russia Vladimir Putin '75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future'

75 years have passed since the end of the Great Patriotic War. Several generations have grown up over the years. The political map of the planet has changed. The Soviet Union that claimed an epic, crushing victory over Nazism and saved the entire world is gone. Besides, the events of that war have long become a distant memory, even for its participants. So why does Russia celebrate the 9th of May as the biggest holiday? Why does life almost come to a halt on June 22? And why does one feel a lump rise in their throat? They usually say that the war has left a deep imprint on every family's history. Behind these words, there are fates of millions of people, their sufferings and the pain of loss. Behind these words, there is also the pride, the truth and the memory.

18.06.2020 - Article co-authored by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Serbian Kurir on June 18, 2020

Public discussions about possible outcomes of the Kosovo knot have become noticeably livelier recently. The United States and the EU are striving to make themselves an indispensable part of the settlement and are competing for the leading role in this process. In addition, as it happened before, they often disregard the opinions of other stakeholders, which fact calls into question the very possibility of finding a fair solution. Looking back into the recent past and analysing the regrettable consequences of external interference in the region’s affairs is something that must be done if we want to avoid making more mistakes. We also believe it is important to provide a general assessment of the current state of affairs and to outline our fundamental approaches to the Kosovo settlement.

17.06.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on US Officials’ Statements on Russia's manipulation of the International Criminal Court

Last week, Washington announced more unilateral sanctions. Unfortunately, this has already become common practice for the United States. These sanctions are directed at an unusual target - not one of the many countries that are out of US favour, but the International Criminal Court and its staff. This event was the subject of a joint briefing by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defence, the Attorney General and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

02.06.2020 - Appeal by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to the parliaments of foreign States and the peoples of the world with regard to the 75th Anniversary of the Victory over Nazism

Appeal by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to the parliaments of foreign States and the peoples of the world with regard to the 75th Anniversary of the Victory over Nazism

28.05.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article about the world amid the coronavirus pandemic for Chinese newspaper Global Times, Moscow, May 28, 2020

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus changed life on the planet virtually overnight. It also became a crush test for international relations, both at the level of individual countries and multilateral associations. The obvious consequences include an economic recession, a crisis of global governance and the growth of protectionist and isolationist sentiments. The pandemic has seriously limited humanitarian, cultural and tourist exchanges, as well as people to people contacts. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

27.05.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the joint news conference with CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas following the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council videoconference, Moscow, May 26, 2020

We have held a CSTO Foreign Ministers Council meeting via videoconference. Russia is chairing the CSTO this year. Considering the difficult situation caused by the coronavirus infection, we approached the preparations and holding of this meeting with certain precautions.

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