18 November 2019
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624 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     616 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

13.11.2019 - Article by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the media of the BRICS countries "BRICS Strategic Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth", November 12, 2019

On November 13–14, 2019, Brasilia will host the 11th BRICS Summit. In the run-up to this key event of the year for our group I would like to share Russia's vision of the BRICS strategic partnership. The current Brazilian BRICS Chairmanship managed to achieve serious progress in all main pillars of cooperation – political, economic and humanitarian. Russia supports its Brazilian friends in their efforts to improve the practical impact of our multifaceted interaction on the prosperity of our States and peoples.


13.11.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Masterclass working session held as part of the 2019 Paris Peace Forum, Paris, November 12, 2019

Thank you for coming to this panel. For the sake of time, my introductory remarks will be brief.


12.11.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Yerevan, November 11, 2019

Mr Mnatsakanyan, First of all, I would like thank our Armenian friends for the invitation on behalf of my delegation and myself, for the very cordial welcome and substantive negotiations that began today with a meeting with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and continued at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


06.11.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Burundi Ezechiel Nibigira, Moscow, November 5, 2019

Good afternoon, The meeting with my Burundian colleague Ezechiel Nibigira took place in a warm and friendly atmosphere. We enjoy friendly relations based on the principles of international law, respect for mutual interests and deep historical sympathy that our peoples have for each other.


01.11.2019 - Permanent Representative of Russia to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich’s interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, October 29, 2019

Question: Mr Lukashevich, I would like to start with a difficult question. The people seldom understand the role and importance of such institutions as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). They believe that it is all talk and little action, apart from that of the adoption of resolutions. This is partly true. Are there too many international organisations that are hardly having any influence on realities? And it also costs a fortune to maintain them.


01.11.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, Moscow, October 31, 2019

Ladies and gentlemen, We have held constructive, substantive and very detailed talks with OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger. This is his second visit to Moscow this year. We welcome the regular nature of our contacts.


01.11.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at talks with OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, Moscow, October 31, 2019

Mr Secretary General, my dear Thomas, Colleagues, We are delighted that you have come to Russia again. We reaffirm our support for your efforts to enhance the efficiency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We see that your team is really focused on formulating a unifying agenda of the organisation and on restoring trust between the member states which has been seriously undermined.


29.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article about Yevgeny Primakov from the book titled The Unknown Primakov: Memoirs, published in Russian Business Guide, October 2019

Of special importance for us diplomats was the period in Yevgeny Primakov’s life when he was our foreign minister. His appointment to Smolenskaya Square marked a turning point in the country’s foreign policy when conditions were created for the restoration of Russia’s international standing. Primakov knew better than many others that its unique geographical location and centuries-long history, as well as its huge potential and its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, predetermined its independent and multi-directional foreign policy.


24.10.2019 - Sergey Lavrov’s article for the Aftenposten daily, Norway, Russia-Norway Relations: A Common Past and a Pragmatic Future, 23 October 2019

At the moment, Norway is celebrating the liberation of East-Finnmark from Nazi occupation. We honour the feat of valour committed by the Soviet soldiers, participants in the resistance movement and partisans, who drove the Nazi occupation forces from the Norwegian land 75 years ago.


23.10.2019 - Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko’s interview with Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, October 22, 2019

Question: Ukraine is not implementing the Steinmeier formula despite having signed it. Will a Normandy format summit be held if this does not happen, if there is no disengagement of forces? Is it realistic to conduct this summit in November? Will the sides manage to draft all the terms in time? Andrey Rudenko: Russia said more than once that the full implementation of the agreements of the previous summits which were held in Paris and Berlin in 2015−2016 should be a prerequisite of the Normandy format meeting. This primarily applies to the documentation of the Steinmeier formula and the disengagement of forces and hardware in three regions (Zolotoye, Petrovskoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya) on the contact line. In addition to this, a new summit should clearly formulate further steps on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.



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