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

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

06.08.2019

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s opening remarks at the briefing on the termination of the INF Treaty, Moscow, August 5, 2019

On August 2, six months after Washington initiated the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the USSR and the US in 1987, the treaty has been terminated for all parties: the US, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

This means that a key treaty for establishing the regional and global security architecture no longer exists. Under the INF Treaty, the parties eliminated two classes of nuclear armaments: land-based intermediate-range and shorter range missiles. The missile launchers and all the associated support facilities and equipment were also destroyed.

Washington’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty has dealt a great blow to the arms control system, which took decades to build. Far-reaching negative consequences for the entire architecture of global security and strategic stability are inevitable.

The US is entirely to blame for this. It was the American side that buried the INF Treaty by launching and completing the procedure for its unilateral withdrawal, while Russia consistently protected the treaty until the very end. In fact, it is completely incorrect to say that Russia has also withdrawn from the treaty and shares the responsibility, as some foreign officials and several media do.

Russia did everything possible to save the INF Treaty. In recent years, as soon as the US began moving towards the withdrawal from the treaty, we tried many times to start a constructive conversation with the Americans. We proposed a number of initiatives that would have made it possible to resolve the claims from both sides and save the INF Treaty. Russia was transparent beyond the treaty’s provisions.

However, all our efforts were ignored or turned down by Washington. Unfortunately, the US’s true goal was not to keep the INF Treaty but to get rid of the bans and restrictions on the buildup of the US missile potential. The US was purposefully working to untie its hands so that it can use an unlimited range of military tools to exert military pressure on any rival or opponent in the world.

The US deliberately plunged the INF Treaty into a crisis that was almost impossible to overcome in order to cover its actions. Instead of a professional and detailed discussion of the acute issues we were insisting on, they decided to dramatically escalate the situation. A misleading and irresponsible propaganda campaign was launched against us as a smokescreen as Washington tried to distort everything and present the matter as if the US is withdrawing from the Treaty due to Russia’s behaviour.

The US made another awkward attempt to justify its actions on the eve of the treaty termination date. On July 30, a so-called fact sheet with totally facts was published on the Department of State’s website. It was another propagandist-planted lie that has little to do with reality.

The reality is that the US has presented no evidence of Russia violating the INF Treaty over the years of discussing all the treaty-related problems. Nevertheless, the US gave an ultimatum that it would only return to the treaty if Russia completely and verifiably destroyed all the 9M729 missiles allegedly prohibited by the treaty, as well as all the launchers and associated equipment, and agree to future inspections. It is clear that this position is unacceptable for us.

I would like to repeat that the 9M729 land-based cruise missile, the existence of which we have never hidden, was not designed or tested for the prohibited range. Russia has fully complied with the INF Treaty since the day it came into effect. We have refuted all the US’s allegations, which are completely groundless.

In fact, the US never took the necessary actions to address all its violations of the treaty, above all the deployment of Mk 41 launchers that have the capability to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles, which is prohibited by the treaty. There has also been no breakthrough regarding the target missiles the US launches to test their missile defence system but with properties equivalent to those of ballistic intermediate-range missiles, as well as regarding missile drones that fully meet the definition of a “land-based cruise missile.”

Washington began to undermine the INF Treaty long ago and has finally destroyed it. We can see that the US is trying to do away with all the international agreements that do not suit it in some way. The collapse of the INF Treaty, which is similar to the US’s withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in 2002 on the scale of destructive consequences, means that Washington’s dismantling of the existing nuclear missile control system is speeding up.

This dangerous trend is accompanied by US officials’ statements on their readiness to build up nuclear armaments. The uncertainty about the future of the last Russian-US restricting and verifying mechanism in the nuclear arms sphere, the New START that expires in February 2021, also fits this trend.

Of course, in the face of new threats from the US, we will take comprehensive measures to ensure our own security. And, as President of Russia Vladimir Putin said on February 2, Russia will not deploy land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in Europe or other regions unless the US places armaments of the same class there.

We call on the United States to show responsibility and, following Russia’s example, to renounce deploying missiles of these classes, which the Pentagon has been actively discussing. Russia remains open to equitable and constructive dialogue with the United States on the INF Treaty and other issues related to the strategic security based on mutual trust and consideration of each other’s interests. We hope that the United States adopts a responsible approach to this matter. The Russian-US consultations on arms control with an emphasis on nuclear missiles that resumed in Geneva on July 17 must continue.

Thank you for your attention.

http://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3750835?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw&_101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw_languageId=en_GB

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B66BztWghE




LATEST EVENTS

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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