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864 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     856 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

18.10.2019

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to Interfax questions, Moscow, October 17, 2019

Question: Can you comment on the statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that Russia has allegedly promised to secure the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the Turkish borders?

Sergey Lavrov: I have not seen such a statement. He said that he appreciates our position that recognises the existence of the Turkish Republic’s legitimate concerns and that implies a settlement under the agreements between the parties concerned. This is true. We are prepared for and will try to make the Adana Agreement of 1998 work. To this end we will help establish contact between the parties to that agreement, which so far have yet to be established. We will stand for the Kurdish problem to be resolved within the framework of Syrian territorial integrity and sovereignty through a dialogue between the Kurdish leaders and the legitimate authorities in Damascus.

I will emphasise this again, these steps can only be taken if they are based on the understanding, in principle, that it results in the complete reinstatement of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, within the framework of which both the Kurds and other ethnic and confessional groups will live in the Syrian Arab Republic. This will be settled so that Turkey can realise the security of its borders. This is a complicated process, given the accumulated contradictions in this part of the Middle East, but it is realistic. We will assist in every way we can to make it become a success.

Question: Did we promise Turkey, as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said, that we would provide support for the withdrawal of Kurdish forces?

Sergey Lavrov: We will assist by promoting a dialogue that will result in the establishment of a reality on the ground that provides for Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as Turkish security interests.

Question: There is currently the problem of ISIS militants escaping camps in the country’s northeast due to Turkey’s operation. Given that there are both our military police and Syrian forces in the area, are we ready, together with the Syrians, to ‘seal’ these camps and prevent the militants from scattering?

Sergey Lavrov: There are no Russian military police or Syrian forces on those territories. This problem exists. It was acknowledged yesterday by the UN Security Council, which expressed serious concern that ISIS members could spread throughout Syria and the neighbouring countries. Nobody knows how far they can go. Such things happen; ISIS militants spring up in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries of Southeast Asia. This is a serious problem. We hear statements that these camps are being guarded properly, but there are no guarantees that the ISIS militants would not escape. There is information, through unconfirmed, that some of them have already escaped, and we do not know where these people are headed.

I would like to again point out that currently our Western, first of all, European colleagues proclaim loudly that it is vitally important to prevent ISIS members in these camps from dispersing all around the region, from escaping to other countries, thus threatening Europe. Such statements are made mostly by representatives of the countries that, in the entire period that these camps have existed, flatly refused to bring their own citizens to their countries to render justice. These people were granted European citizenship at some point, but somehow Europeans do not want to see them in Europe now. I have already spoken about it. I am confident that those who gave shelter to people who later became terrorists should bear responsibility for them.

Question: Leaders of various countries call the Turkish operation illegitimate. Do we share this view?

Sergey Lavrov: We have already made our position clear. We think that Turkey has legitimate concerns about the security of its borders against the terrorist and extremist threats that are currently present on Syrian territory. At the same time we firmly believe that the problem must be solved only through dialogue, and we will strive to achieve that.

Question: The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) no longer exists, but some questions remain unanswered. Has the interdepartmental work to develop response measures to Washington’s recent test of an intermediate-range missile concluded? Do we plan to begin tests and production of similar missiles in the near future? As we understand it, if the United States deploys missiles in Europe, the flight time to targets will be the most important factor?

Sergey Lavrov: All these questions have already been answered. In the very beginning, when the United States launched the official withdrawal from the INF Treaty on February 2, 2019, President Vladimir Putin said that we will provide a symmetric response. If the Americans suspend their participation in the Treaty, we will do the same. If they denounce it, we will have no choice in the situation. If, after the denunciation, they begin to develop such weapons, we will do that too. But when and if we create these weapons – and given that the Americans have already tested a cruise missile that was banned by the Treaty, we will create them – we will not deploy them in any region of the world until the US systems are deployed somewhere. This is not just words. We made a relevant proposal to the United States and NATO to adopt a mutual bilateral moratorium on the deployment of such weapons anywhere, from Europe to Asia. No response followed. Moreover, the US military publicly say that they will prepare to deploy such weapons in the Asian region. Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently commented on that. He said that we understand who the main target of these plans is. But the Americans plan to deploy these weapons in close vicinity to our borders, and we will take that into account too. I reiterate, we have not yet received a response to our suggestion to adopt a moratorium. This proposal is still on the table.

As for concrete measures regarding a military-technical response, they are being prepared by the relevant bodies. I will emphasise again that Russian President Vladimir Putin said that if such weapons are created, we will be forced to do the same.




LATEST EVENTS

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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