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

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. The participation in the celebrations in Kirkenes on October 25 of King Harald V of Norway, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, members of the Storting, and representatives of local governments testifies to the importance that your country attaches to this date. Russia greatly appreciates this.

During World War II, there were over 100,000 Soviet prisoners of war in Norway. About 12,700 of them died, succumbing to inhumane labour conditions, hunger and diseases. Many were executed for attempting to escape. More than 2,000 Red Army soldiers lost their lives during the Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation. I would like to convey our sincere gratitude to our Norwegian friends, who take good care of the many monuments and graves of Soviet soldiers, install new monuments and commemorative plaques, and help to carry out archival and field search work to identify the names of the fallen that are as yet unknown.

A common heroic past has always stood in good stead in the matter of promoting bilateral relations, which are in many respects unique. In fact, Russian-Norwegian ties have experienced ups and downs, but they have never been darkened by armed conflicts. In the Cold War era, Moscow and Oslo tried to find points of contact. It is in this way that responsible neighbours should behave, neighbours who share Europe’s oldest border. It is symbolic in this sense that apart from the liberation of East-Finnmark, we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Treaty on the Soviet-Norwegian Border Regime and the Settlement of Border Conflicts and Incidents.

Regrettably, the dynamically developing cooperation has slowed down after the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014. Oslo has joined the anti-Russian sanctions. As a result, entire areas of interaction have been curtailed. I do not believe that this meets the core interests of our nations.

The increasingly active military preparations in areas close to the Russian border are a matter of grave concern. Norway is deviating from its “basic policy” by deploying in its territory training bases for US and UK military personnel, which are allegedly based on the “rotation” principle but are in fact permanent facilities. Norway is also increasing its military budget and upgrading the relevant infrastructure. In October and November 2018, highly aggressive NATO exercise, Trident Juncture, with the participation of personnel from partner countries was held near the Russian border. The building up of military activities in the Arctic and the striving to include the region in the area of NATO responsibility, all this is eroding stability and trust.

At the same time, we manage to maintain dialogue even under the existing circumstances and there are some positive shifts in this regard. In April 2019, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg had a meeting within the framework of the Arctic: Territory of Dialogue International Arctic Forum in St Petersburg, which gave an impetus to ties in various areas. Related agencies are resuming contacts. Trade is returning to the pre-crisis level; border and inter-regional exchanges are expanding. I hope that by joint efforts we will manage to steer our relations back to a progressive trajectory. This will benefit both our states and citizens, and the entire Euro-Arctic region.

Gained during World War II, the invaluable experience of alliance and cooperation in the fight against the criminal ideology of misanthropy is particularly needed today, when the world community is facing numerous dangerous challenges and threats that can be effectively opposed only by working together. Russia has insistently called on everyone for a long time to start joint work so as to form an architecture of equal and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic region and Eurasia, based on the firm foundation of international law, primarily the UN Charter.        




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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