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932 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     924 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

18.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI television, Moscow, September 17, 2020

Question: I’ll start with the hottest topic, Belarus. President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko visited Bocharov Ruchei. Both sides have officially recognised that change within the Union State is underway. This begs the question: What is this about? A common currency, common army and common market? What will it be like? Sergey Lavrov: It will be the way our countries decide. Work is underway. It relies on the 1999 Union Treaty. We understand that over 20 years have passed since then. That is why, a couple of years ago, upon the decision of the two presidents, the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus began to work on identifying the agreed-upon steps that would make our integration fit current circumstances. Recently, at a meeting with Russian journalists, President Lukashenko said that the situation had, of course, changed and we must agree on ways to deepen integration from today’s perspective.


15.09.2020 - Excerpt from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI TV channel, Moscow, September 14, 2020

Question: You have been the Foreign Minister of Russia for 16 years now and had to deal with the most serious challenges of this century. Sanctions were imposed. We began to adapt to them and survived them. Germany announced that it has received the results of Alexey Navalny’s tests. France and Sweden confirmed the presence of the Novichok agent in them. Do you think Navalny’s case may become the driver of new anti-Russia sanctions?


14.09.2020 - Foreign Minster Sergey Lavrov’s answers to questions from the Moscow, Kremlin, Putin programme Moscow, September 13, 2020

Question: Given the serious tensions in the world today, differences sometimes can also arise between the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Can the SCO format help smooth over these differences?


12.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with member of the State Council and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, Moscow, September 11, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, Today’s talks with my colleague and friend, member of the State Council and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, were held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust and were very substantial.


11.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at the press conference following the SCO Foreign Ministers Council Meeting, Moscow, September 10, 2020

We have completed the Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States. It was very fruitful. We approved a press release expressing our views on general political matters, so I will not elaborate too much on these subjects.


10.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Moscow, September 9, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, We have had very constructive talks as part of the regular communications between our countries’ foreign ministers. Back in June, we held several in-depth meetings via videoconference, but today we had an in-person meeting in order to prepare for the large-scale bilateral events scheduled for this year. These are to be held during the Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum and the 65th anniversary celebrations of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is our shared pride, as well as during the preparations of the upcoming meeting of the co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation and subsequently during the plenary meeting of this important structure.


10.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the official reception for the SCO Foreign Ministers Council, Moscow, September 9, 2020

We have gathered here and will start our work now. Our main task is to prepare for the meeting of the Heads of State Council, as President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin just said. The summit is bound to become the key event of Russia’s chairmanship. In our work, we are primarily guided by the Russian chairmanship’s action plan, which was endorsed by the President of Russia and approved by the other heads of state.


09.09.2020 - Foreign Ministry statement on the situation around Alexei Navalny

In connection with the demarche undertaken by the Group of Seven on the ‘Alexei Navalny case’, the Foreign Ministry has issued the following statement. Russia insists that Germany provide data on Alexei Navalny’s medical examination, including the results of the biochemical tests, as per the official request for legal assistance submitted by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation on August 27, 2020. Berlin has not been willing to respond to our repeated requests in a prompt and constructive manner.


08.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yury Borisov and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic Walid Muallem following talks, Damascus, September 7, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, The current visit of our delegation is primarily devoted to discussing the prospects for the further development of cooperation between Russia and the Syrian Arab Republic in the new conditions that have developed within the country, in the region and in the world as a whole. The key aspect of the current stage is based on the fact that Syria, including with the support of the Russian Federation, has withstood the fight against international terrorism and the forces that hatched the plan to destroy Syrian statehood.


07.09.2020 - Press release on ASEM Ministerial Statement on COVID-19 by Russia, EU, Germany, Singapore and Cambodia

On September 7, 2020 the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Statement on COVID-19 was adopted by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, EU, Germany and Singapore as ASEM Regional Coordinators and Cambodia as the Host of the 13th ASEM Summit with support of all ASEM partners. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which caused unprecedented damages to life, health and well-being of ASEM nations, the Ministers reaffirmed commitment to continue joint steps to fight the disease and experience sharing in order to control and prevent its further spreading. They commended healthcare personnel and volunteers working in the frontline of the outbreak.



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