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1143 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1135 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



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.

The participants in the meeting paid special attention to preparing documents for the SCO Heads of State Council Meeting, scheduled to take place in November via videoconference, as President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said yesterday in his greetings to the foreign ministers.

As I have already said, the press release sums up the main outcomes of our today’s discussions.

Of course, we noted the fact that most of the events scheduled as part of the Russian Presidency took place despite the pandemic and the adjustments we had to make in our work. There were about 100 events. Together, we have been able to maintain forward momentum in the cooperation among SCO member states.

All our countries held large-scale celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory and 75 years since the establishment of the United Nations Organisation. We outlined additional steps to be taken in this respect during this anniversary year. We reaffirmed our commitment to the system of international relations rooted in the central and coordinating role of the UN and its Security Council.

We supported further efforts to put into action the high principles set forth in the UN Charter in order to bring about a sustainable, just, democratic and polycentric world order.

We also reviewed a number of cooperation areas where we need to work together, including combating international terrorism, illegal drug trafficking, cross-border organised crime and cybercrime, approving draft statements and other documents on all these matters to be submitted for approval to the heads of state.

The participants had a useful exchange of opinions on Afghanistan, the developments around the Syrian settlement and other persisting problems in the Middle East and North Africa. We are united in our view on the situation created by the withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme. We all reaffirmed our commitment to this important document, which was approved unanimously by the UN Security Council and all participants without exception have to abide by it.

We noted the SCO’s commitment to joining efforts to stabilise the world economy. In this context, we highlighted the importance of carrying out the Programme of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation of the SCO Member States until 2035, as well as finding effective solutions to other issues relating to transport connectivity, switching to national currencies in mutual settlements and creating transparent and more favourable conditions for trade and investment.

We agreed to continue cooperating in the interest of safeguarding the wellbeing of our countries in terms of the sanitary and epidemiological situation, and submitted proposals to this effect for approval by the SCO Heads of State Council Meeting.

Overall, we have fulfilled all the objectives we had for this SCO Foreign Ministers Council Meeting. I thanked my colleagues for their productive work. The summit will take place in November, and the Presidency will go over to Tajikistan.

Question: Does Russia support Kazakhstan’s initiative to create a Eurasian financial advisory mechanism and to increase the share of national currencies in mutual transactions?

Sergey Lavrov: The use of national currencies is an SCO initiative which was highlighted today as a major area of focus. This decision was made by the Heads of State Council a while ago. The corresponding ministries, primarily the ministries of finance and trade, are working on this.

With regard to the second proposal to create a Eurasian financial advisory mechanism, it was effectively articulated, but we have not yet received any specific documents describing how it would work. As soon as our Kazakhstani friends make their vision available to us, we will discuss it willingly.

Question: A meeting of representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban is expected to take place soon. Did you discuss the upcoming talks today? What does Moscow and other SCO members expect from this process? Perhaps, some specific SCO initiatives or mechanisms are being discussed that could facilitate a reconciliation?

Sergey Lavrov: We are closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan. Russia, China and other SCO member states have recently done a lot to create proper conditions for the early start of direct and inclusive intra-Afghan talks. Over the past couple of years we, in Russia, have received all the participants in the Afghan political process. We convened the so-called Moscow format, which involves Afghanistan’s neighbours who are key players in the region, as well as the United States.

The three of us – Russia, the United States and China, with the involvement of Pakistan – have worked to support the efforts of numerous countries, such as Qatar, Uzbekistan and other countries in the region to give an early start to these talks.

The dates for the talks in Doha have been announced on several occasions and repeatedly postponed. We believe the reason is that it is impossible to artificially fit this political process to suit someone’s geopolitical or domestic political interests. Unfortunately, we are witnessing such attempts, which do not help create a stable basis for an intra-Afghan political process.

Inside Afghanistan, the government wants to somehow limit the number of social, political and ethnic groups that can take part in the talks which defeats the idea of inclusive talks. It’s not helpful.

I think all SCO members have a common position. We are in favour of all Afghan parties being adequately represented in the future political process, so that no one is left out on purpose (I repeat, such attempts are being made). We all confirmed the relevance of the roadmap developed as part of the SCO-Afghanistan contact group. It reflects the consensus between the SCO and Afghanistan, which has observer status in the SCO. This roadmap will be acted upon.

Question: The Germans are sending us to the OPCW, and your colleague, the US Secretary of State, is saying that allegedly some high-ranking Russians are implicated in this case. What can you tell us about this?

Sergey Lavrov: We are used to unfounded accusations. When an official representative of the German government says that the request of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has been transferred to “independent justice” bodies and the German government can thus do nothing about it, but at the same time demands that we conduct an investigation, this reminds us of the precedents that were created by our Western colleagues after the Salisbury poisoning, when everything was classified (we still have no information about that case, including the whereabouts of the Skripals, who are Russian citizens). They are following in the tracks of the tragedy of the Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine in 2014, when the Netherlands, in response to multiple efforts by our official bodies to provide information that we had and, despite our repeated proposals to analyse all the facts, without exception, regularly accused us of refusing to cooperate. When we reminded the Dutch authorities that our proposal for cooperation was on the table but they turned down our initiatives, they told us that cooperation with Russia for them means that we must admit our guilt. If now the same logic prevails among our Western colleagues, especially in Germany and the United States, it will only show that they are putting themselves above the law and above everyone else. Everyone is equal, but they are more equal than others, so we must take their word for it.

The odds are much higher if we put our trust in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie character who used to say “trust me” than those who are now trying to play his part in the international arena.



06.04.2021 - Interview by Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov to Hindustan Times, April 6, 2021

Question: With India and Russia set to resume high-level engagements after the Covid-19 crisis, what will be priorities for bilateral agenda in 2021? Sergey Lavrov: Russia is satisfied with the vigorous political dialogue with India on all levels that keeps on actively developing despite serious restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020 we managed to successfully organize several events in face-to-face and online formats. Summits of the SCO and BRICS – a new type of multilateral associations where our countries cooperate fruitfully – are among them.

01.04.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview given to Channel One’s Bolshaya Igra (Great Game) talk show, Moscow, April 1, 2021

Vyacheslav Nikonov: The word “war” has been heard increasingly more often lately. US and NATO politicians, even more so the Ukrainian military, have no trouble saying it. Do you have more reasons to be concerned now than ever before? Sergey Lavrov: Yes and no. On the one hand, the confrontation has hit bottom. On the other, deep down, there’s still hope that we are adults and understand the risks associated with escalating tensions further. However, our Western colleagues introduced the word “war” into the diplomatic and international usage. “The hybrid war unleashed by Russia” is a very popular description of what the West perceives as the main event in international life. I still believe that good judgment will prevail.

25.03.2021 - Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea Chung Eui-yong, Seoul, March 25, 2021

Ladies and gentlemen, We held constructive, substantive and fruitful talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea Chung Eui-yong.

18.03.2021 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has been summoned to Moscow for consultations in order to analyse what needs to be done in the context of relations with the United States.

16.03.2021 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's address at the online conference «Centenary of the Russian-British trade relations», 16 March 2021

The 100th anniversary of the first Soviet-British trade agreement is a memorable date. Its conclusion marked a milestone in the rich history of the Russian-British bilateral relations. This centenary is also a good reason for all of us to take a positive look at the prospects of our bilateral ties, based on the existing experience.

15.03.2021 - Russian Foreign Ministry statement on the 10th anniversary of the start of anti-government demonstrations in Syria

I would like to read the Foreign Ministry’s statement on the 10th anniversary of the start of anti-government demonstrations in Syria. This document will be published on the Foreign Ministry website. On March 15, it will be ten years since the beginning of civil disorder in the Syrian Arab Republic. Due to outside interference, the domestic political process rapidly turned into an armed conflict, in which illegal armed groups moved to the fore. The country was subjected to unprecedented aggression by international terrorism.

11.03.2021 - Joint Statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Republic of Turkey, and Russian Federation, Doha, 11 March 2021

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Republic of Turkey, and Russian Federation had a meeting on 11 March 2021 in Doha to discuss the Syrian crisis and ways of cooperation with the aim of contributing to a lasting political solution. The Ministers:

10.03.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi, March 9, 2021

Ladies and gentlemen, We held a lengthy and trustworthy conversation with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. We also had talks with my friend and colleague Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE. They were very useful.

24.02.2021 - Foreign Ministry statement on the EU’s new illegal restrictive measures against Russia

We are disappointed by the February 22 decision of the EU Foreign Affairs Council to impose new illegal, unilateral and unsubstantiated restrictive measures on Russian citizens. The European Union has missed an opportunity to rethink its policy of artificial linkages, sanctions and pressure in its relations with Russia, a policy that has proved to be completely ineffective over the past few years. Instead, guided by its bloc discipline and anti-Russia stereotypes, Brussels has instinctively pressed the ineffective sanctions button. Moreover, contrary to all logic, the EU first adopted a political decision, and plans to choose the candidates for the sanctions later on.

18.02.2021 - "Centenary of Russia-UK trade relations" conference

This year marks the centenary of the first Russian-British trade agreement. We are delighted to invite you to participate in the online-conference organized by the Embassy and Trade delegation of Russia in the UK on March 16, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. (UK time).

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