8 April 2020
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766 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     758 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

23.03.2020

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Saturday news show Vesti v Subbotu, Moscow, March 21, 2020

Question: For you, Sri Lanka is your youth. What did you feel when you came back here? We are now in the new Embassy building, while you worked in the old building. Still, what memories did it stir up from when you worked here?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, I mostly remember the old building where I worked for four years. I was an aide to Soviet Ambassador Rafik Nishanov, God bless him. We created a tight-knit group of MGIMO graduates and more experienced personnel, including first secretaries and councillors. We played football and volleyball. We had a club, which no longer exists. The leased building was returned to local authorities because the new Embassy has a club on its premises.

There is one thing that comes to mind first of all. A small viper crawled into my office in the old building. The air conditioners were installed in the wall and the snake crawled through a small gap between the air conditioner and the wall. We got rid of it very quickly, but after that all offices were inspected to see if any gaps in the walls needed to be closed.

In addition to the club where we met every weekend, I also have warm memories of our sports games. By the way, we also watched films at the club. It was a good tradition. Nowadays the embassies seldom hold film screenings. Everyone can watch what they like at home.

Question: What films did you watch back then?

Sergey Lavrov: We were sent good Soviet films, which are shown on television even now. We also liked to play beach football. Diplomatic couriers delivered mail and collected our mail once a month. Many of them were good athletes, including football players who held the title of merited athlete. For example, Dynamo player Vladimir Savdunin played football with us. Others included players from the Spartak club. It was fantastic: we were very young then and we had a chance to play football with world famous athletes.

I also remember the trips we made. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country. It takes a few hours’ drive to the mountains where people use wood-burning stoves, or tea plantations, the former British settlements which have been turned into recreation spots open to all.There is a place in Sri Lanka that is known as World’s End. It is believed that Adam lived there after he was expelled from Paradise. There are many interesting places on the island. I would recommend travelling there, if possible. It is a bit like Sochi, with both the sea and the mountains nearby. They don’t ski there, but the mountains are certainly good for hiking. Sri Lanka has a very interesting history. I also recommend visiting Sri Lanka’s old capital, Kandy.

We are developing bilateral tourism. I have held talks with President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and my colleague, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, and it turned out that the number of Russian tourists in Sri Lanka increased by 30 percent to some 85,000 in 2019. Our colleagues are delighted, first by the increase itself and, second, because, apart from absolute figures, Russian tourists spend more money per capita than tourists from other countries. In short, tourism has good prospects. Our mutual trade is growing as well.

I remember that the idea of a new embassy building was aired back when I was working at the Soviet Embassy here in 1975-1976. In other words, things were not moving fast enough, but it is the result that matters. I believe the result is quite good. One can live and work here very well.

Question: Do you still remember any behests or advice you received from Rafik Nishanov?

Sergey Lavrov: He is a wise man. It is difficult to formulate his behests, but he showed what diplomacy was by his very behaviour and the way he worked and communicated with our foreign colleagues. Always courteous, he never offended anyone even with a hint and he always showed that he heard what his interlocutor was saying. When your response includes minor details your interlocutor used, it shows that you listen to and hear what is being said.  

Rafik Nishanov also has a fine sense of humour. When he greeted me with “Hello, Marxist” upon his arrival at the embassy – I usually sat at my desk by that time – it meant that he was in a great mood and everything went very well that day. In general, he seldom lost his temper. Of course, there were some critical situations; we had our ups and downs. There were car accidents involving our personnel, which is a nervous situation, but he always settled any problems we had, bless him.

 

This interview was taped during Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Sri Lanka on January 14, 2020

 




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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.



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