26 January 2020
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693 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     685 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

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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