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725 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     717 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

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.

Unfortunately, not all have been following this example. Instead of advancing towards equal security, we are seeing movement in the opposite direction. The strategic stability architecture is breaking down, and the security space is becoming increasingly fragmented. There are attempts to replace international law with a “rules-based order” as a set of foreign policy concepts shared by a narrow group of Western countries. The expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in several waves and attempts to present the alliance as a “source of legitimacy,” the fact that its military infrastructure is getting closer and closer to the Russian borders, and efforts to rapidly expand military capabilities in Eastern Europe, as well as unprecedented increases in defence spending coupled with setting up the “image of an enemy,” all this causes tensions reminiscent of the Cold War.

It is essential that we reverse this dangerous trend and stop the situation from further sliding towards confrontation. There is demand for a positive common European agenda on all pressing matters, from countering multiple challenges and threats to coordinating Eurasian integration processes. Considering the OSCE’s broad geography and inclusive approach to security, the consensus principle and culture of dialogue, it can and should play an important role in delivering on this vision. By the way, this is what the Bratislava Appeal issued by the Chairperson-in-Office is all about. It has our full support.

Guided by the same philosophy, we have prepared a number of initiatives for today’s meeting. Adopting a declaration to mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War would be a matter of principle. The same applies to a commemorative declaration on the 20th anniversary of the Charter for European Security. It was proposed by Russia in order to reaffirm the principles established 20 year ago. Let me remind you that our Western colleagues were at the forefront of promoting these principles. Today, however, they are not as enthusiastic about them as they used to be.

Russia supports efforts to continue a “structured dialogue” with input from military experts and without politicising the process. We believe dialogue to be an important confidence building measure, especially at a time when military-to-military contacts between Russia and NATO have been broken off. There has been no response so far to Russia’s proposals on ways to ease tensions along the line of contact between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The appeal issued by the CSTO foreign ministers to their NATO colleagues has been left unanswered as well. In a situation, where Russia faces an aggressive policy of containment, any discussion on updating the 2011 Vienna Document seems pointless.

The OSCE should play a more prominent role in combating terrorism and treats related to drug trafficking. We have drafted resolutions to this effect, and hope that they will be discussed in a constructive manner.

The chairmanship and member states have thoroughly reviewed projects on energy cooperation and digital innovation. More attention should be paid to the second basket.

The OSCE is especially relevant for resolving urgent humanitarian problems. Let me remind you that the ignominious phenomenon of statelessness still exists in Latvia and Estonia. In Ukraine, there is flagrant discrimination against the Russian language, while most of the population speaks it. The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church is still persecuted.

A number of countries brazenly violate their commitments to ensure media freedoms and equal access to information, demonstrating their intolerance towards alternative points of view.

Delivering on our own resolutions passed five years ago to adopt a declaration on protecting Christians and Muslims remains on the agenda.

The OSCE’s anti-crisis efforts are relevant. We support the operations of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, and expect it to release honest reports on the casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure in Donbass. It is our hope that the upcoming Normandy Format summit in Paris will provide an impetus to implementing the Minsk Package of Measures. Establishing direct dialogue between Kiev, on the one side, and Donetsk and Lugansk, on the other, remains a key factor for achieving a settlement.

We need to pay more attention to the challenging situation in the Balkans. The OSCE’s field operations should not be used to promote Euro-Atlantic integration in the region. Any actions by our organisation in breach of UNSC Resolution 1244 are unacceptable.

It is important that we remember that the OSCE’s executive structures, including its institutions, should benefit all member states. Following the principles of mutual respect and balance of interests is the only way to fully unlock the OSCE’s vast creative potential.

In conclusion, I would like to wish Albania every success as it prepares to assume the OSCE Chairmanship.




LATEST EVENTS

27.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the ceremony of signing a cooperation agreement between the Foreign Ministry, the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS) and the Federal Archive Agency (Rosarkhiv) on information coverage of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Moscow, February 26, 2020

We have just signed a cooperation agreement with the Federal Archive Agency and ITAR-TASS on covering the events that will be devoted to and are already being held to honour the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Our Foreign Ministry has established very close, collaborative and friendly relations with our colleagues – the Federal Archive Agency and ITAR-TASS. We are combining the capabilities of federal executive bodies and our media on a very topical theme.


21.02.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's welcoming words at the reception to honour the Russian Armed Forces

Excellences, Ladies and gentlemen, We have gathered today to honour the Russian Armed Forces. Our Army has seen many glorious victories. Those who liberated Europe and all humanity from fascism on the battlefields of the World War II are still among us. After that terrible war, 75 years ago, the leaders of the USSR, United Kingdom and United States agreed to create the United Nations Organisation designed to prevent such devastating tragedies.


19.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during the joint news conference following Russian-Italian talks between foreign and defence ministers in the two-plus-two format, Rome, February 18, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to express my gratitude for the hospitality we traditionally receive in Italy. I completely agree that the fourth joint meeting between the Russian and Italian foreign and defence ministers was held in a constructive manner. The last time we met in this format was in 2013. We find that resuming work in this format is timely and important.


18.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions following the 56th Munich Security Conference, Munich, February 17, 2020

The Munich Security Conference is over. You have seen all the speeches. Our media have already made assessments. I will be glad to answer your questions. Question: Did you discuss with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo President Donald Trump’s participation in the meeting of the UN Security Council permanent members proposed by Russia? Is the US position now clear? Did you discuss extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)? Did you manage to reach any agreement?


17.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during the 56th Munich Security Conference, Global Disorder – Other Opportunities for a New Agenda, Munich, February 15, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, This year marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in WWII. Sadly, there are attempts to brazenly distort history and to equate the liberators of Europe with Nazi murderers. These attempts will remain on the conscience of those behind them. No one and nothing can belittle the decisive role of the Red Army and the Soviet people in defeating Nazism. At the same time, we will always keep in our minds the spirit of Alliance during the War and the ability of the states to unite and fight the common threat regardless of ideological differences.


10.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to questions from Rossiyskaya Gazeta editorial office and its regional partners during a business breakfast, Moscow, February 10, 2020

Question: There are numerous reports in the media about preparations for the upcoming Defender-Europe 20 military exercise, due to take place this May in a number of Eastern European countries. This will be the largest US military exercise in the past 25 years. Given the considerable cooling in relations between Russia and NATO, are we witnessing the birth of a new Cold War?


06.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Prensa Latina News Agency, February 5, 2020

Question: What is your opinion of the new US punitive measures to toughen the embargo against Cuba that has been in place for almost 60 years? Sergey Lavrov: We can see that US attempts to reformat the Latin American region in line with its geopolitical interests aim to overthrow the “undesirable regimes” in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The archaic Monroe Doctrine serves as the ideological foundation. In the run-up to the presidential election, the White House continues to ratchet up sanctions against those states which preserve their national independence, sovereignty and identity. This openly anti-human policy runs counter to the generally accepted principles of international law, including the UN Charter.


03.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 1 television channel for the documentary Antarctica: 200 Years of Peace, Moscow, February 2, 2020

Sergey Lavrov: Antarctica, which was discovered 200 years ago by the first Russian expedition of Faddey Bellinsgauzen and Mikhail Lazarev, is a continent where international relations, as it was decided after long disputes, are guided by the Antarctic Treaty signed 60 years ago. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty sets out the principles that regulate the activities of all countries in Antarctica. First of all, the contracting parties pledged to use Antarctica for peaceful purposes only, preserve its biological resources and prohibit all activities relating to Antarctic mineral resources, except for scientific research (the latter provision was confirmed by the contracting parties for at least 50 years at their meeting in Madrid in 1991). The treaty also bans any measures of a military nature, such as the establishment of military bases, the carrying out of military manoeuvres, as well as the testing of any type of weapons. There is also a provision on cooperation based on mutual respect and conducted in the interests of the whole of humankind.


03.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article titled “Russia and Indonesia: 70 years of fruitful cooperation” published in the Indonesian national newspaper Kompas, February 2, 2020

This year, Russia and Indonesia are celebrating the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Any significant date is always a good occasion both for summing up what has been achieved so far and for drafting plans for the future.


28.01.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the opening of the 28th International Educational Christmas Readings, “The Great Victory: Heritage and Inheritors,” Moscow, January 27, 2020

Your Holiness, colleagues, friends, I am happy to join you in greeting the hosts, participants and guests of the 28th International Educational Christmas Readings.



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