18 January 2020
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Sergey Lavrov's article “A Forward-Looking Partnership” for Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Renmin Ribao

This year, our countries are marking an important date: the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations.

On October 2, 1949, the Soviet Union became the first country to recognise the People’s Republic of China, on the very next day after it was established. In our country, a new China gained a reliable friend that supported it in its nation-building efforts and economic recovery, and helped consolidate its international standing.

Of course, our people share ties that go back centuries. We have been learning to understand each other, work together and be friends for a very long time. As a result, today we have achieved an unprecedented level of cooperation that can be described as a comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation. In June 2019, during the state visit by PRC President Xi Jinping to Russia, our two leaders announced a new era in Russia-China relations, paving the way to even more mutual support across the board.

Where does this success stem from? It is primarily attributable to the fact that our cooperation is rooted in the universally recognised norms of international law that are free from any ideology. Our cooperation has its own inherent value and is not directed against anyone. We do not impose our approaches or values on one another, let alone meddle in each other’s domestic affairs. We have succeeded in putting aside sensitive issues of our common past, leaving them to the discretion of historians. The border question has been settled for good. Today, the dialogue between Russia and China can be defined as mutually respectful interactions between two equal partners. This dialogue is actually more advanced than some formal alliances, judging by the level of mutual trust, the resilience and depth of our cooperation.

We have much to be proud of. The two countries have developed a vast and forward-looking legal framework for their relations, built around the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation of July 16, 2001 as its cornerstone.

A multi-layered architecture of interstate interactions has been put in place, and has proven to be highly resilient and capable of effectively resolving the most complex problems. The meetings between the heads of state are at the centre of this architecture, and rightly so. Every year, four or five top-level meetings take place as part of mutual visits, as well as on the sidelines of the leading international forums.

Regular meetings between our heads of government play a key role in expanding trade, economic and cultural cooperation. Five intergovernmental commissions, co-chaired by deputy prime ministers, as well as a number of interagency sub-commissions and working groups operate as part of this framework.

There is also a permanent Interparliamentary Commission for Cooperation between the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the National People's Congress of China. Close contacts have been established between the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation and the General Office of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee. Consultations between senior officials on strategic security and public safety, public order and justice are held annually.

This intensive dialogue at all levels yields meaningful results. The PRC is Russia’s biggest trade and economic partner. Last year, trade between our countries hit a record high of $108 billion. Energy cooperation has reached a strategic level, including in terms of building cross-border oil and gas pipelines, the peaceful use of nuclear energy, LNG production, as well as coal and energy exports from Russia. Deliveries of Russian natural gas via pipelines to the PRC are set to begin on December 1. This will be yet another ambitious bilateral undertaking, adding to the Skovorodino-Mohe oil pipeline, which has been operating successfully for the past nine years.

Major projects serve as an impetus for stepping up mutual investment that has great potential. Cooperation in high-technology sectors, including civil aviation and space, deserve special attention. In 2020 and 2021, Russia-China cross-years of cooperation in science and technology, and innovation will be held. Broad opportunities are emerging for promoting trade in agricultural products. Neither Russia, nor our Chinese friends have any intention to be complacent. We are set to expand and deepen our economic ties.

Humanitarian cooperation is gaining momentum. Contacts in culture, education, tourism, sports and other spheres facilitate the consolidation of the people-to-people dimension of Russia-China relations, helping strengthen friendship and mutual understanding between the two peoples.

Inter-regional exchanges are picking up steam. The Year of Russia-China Inter-Regional Cooperation is currently underway. This is a truly grand undertaking. The Intergovernmental Russian-Chinese Commission for Cooperation and Development of the Far East and Baikal Region of Russia and Northeast China is up and running. There is fruitful cooperation in the Volga-Yangtze format between the regions of the Volga Federal District and Chinese provinces along the Upper and Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River. Efforts are underway to explore opportunities for establishing new inter-regional cooperation mechanisms between Central Russia and northern China, and between Russia’s northwest and coastal provinces in China’s southeast. This regional level dialogue will not only supplement and enrich the contacts between our countries, but also generate substantial economic returns.

The high level of mutual trust facilitates steady progress in military and military-technical cooperation. This includes regular visits by senior commanders, and holding joint military exercises. Trade in arms and military equipment is carried out in strict compliance with all international legal norms.

Close foreign policy coordination is an inherent part of Russia-China strategic partnership. It has become a major stability factor in global and regional affairs. Today, with the challenges the world is facing, we are witnessing persistent attempts to dismantle the architecture of security and strategic stability that took shape after World War II, while substituting international law with some kind of a rule-based order. Against this backdrop, there is no doubt that our combined efforts are highly relevant. Moreover, our efforts are underpinned not just by converging or close approaches to the key problems of humanity, but by our firm commitment to building a multipolar world order that would be more just, sustainable and democratic, while rooted in the inviolable principles of the UN Charter.

We are strongly against any attempts to impose one’s will on sovereign countries or to resolve problems through threats, blackmail or by force, rather than around a negotiating table. This is what underpins our effective cooperation in various multilateral settings, including within the United Nations, the Group of Twenty, as well as associations of a new kind, such as BRICS and the SCO. The joint statements that were adopted in June following talks between the heads of state in Moscow are designed to serve as an essential foundation for better coordinating the work of Russian and Chinese diplomatic services. These include the Joint Statement on Developing Comprehensive Partnership and Strategic Interaction Entering a New Era, as well as a statement on strengthening modern day global strategic stability.

Amid growing interdependence in the age of globalisation, and as new global centres of gravity emerge and gain ground, there is a need for non-conventional, innovative approaches. Today, the steady advancement of various integration processes has become a sign of the times. In this regard, the Eurasian Economic Union provides a telling example, since it has come a long way within a short period of time, from removing customs barriers to building a common market for goods, services, capital and labour. The expansion of EAEU’s international contacts and the fact that more and more countries are seeking to sign free-trade agreements with it testify to the success of this integration project.

We are well aware that our Chinese friends are also working hard on ensuring stability and prosperity across Eurasia as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Four years ago, our countries’ leaders agreed to work on aligning the EAEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt. Today, this decision is being implemented. An important step was made with the signing in May 2018 of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the EAEU and the PRC. It is about to enter into force.

Therefore, the EAEU and the BRI are becoming complementary. Further efforts to harmonise their operations will lay the ground for building a new inclusive geopolitical framework in Eurasia that would be open to all countries and integration associations without exception. This is what the well-known initiative put forward by President Vladimir Putin to build a Greater Eurasian Partnership is all about. We proceed from the premise that consistent efforts to implement this ambitious undertaking in the spirit of the “integration of integrations” concept would not only promote steady economic growth at the national level, including in our countries, but will also substantially enhance security, stability and predictability across the vast reaches stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Over the past seven decades, the PRC experienced dramatic changes in all spheres of life. Today’s Russia has also changed in significant ways. At the same time, the two nations continue strengthening their relations of neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation, and exploring new horizons. The potential of this bilateral partnership is truly inexhaustible. We intend to keep advancing alongside our Chinese partners by doing everything it takes to elevate our cooperation to new levels for the benefit of our people, and in the name of establishing the ideals of truth and justice around the world. I strongly believe that the celebration of 70 years of diplomatic relations will help to step up our friendly and mutually beneficial dialogue in all spheres without exception.


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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