19 September 2021
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1295 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1287 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.



16.09.2021 - Presiden Putin's address to citizens of Russia ahead of State Duma elections

President Vladimir Putin addressed the citizens of Russia ahead of the State Duma election.

04.08.2021 - Russia`s position at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly

1. The goal of the 76-th session of the UN General Assembly (GA) is to reaffirm the central and coordinating role of the Organization in international affairs. Owing to its representativeness and universality, the UN is rightfully viewed as a unique platform for an equitable dialogue aimed at reaching compromise solutions with due regard to different opinions. Attempts to undermine the authority and legitimacy of the UN are, in our view, extremely dangerous, as they can lead to the dismantlement of the multipolar system of international relations.

04.08.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moscow, August 4, 2021

Question: Russia was not only the first country to register a vaccine – Sputnik V – but has also extended a helping hand to many countries that urgently needed it. Some of them accepted Russia’s assistance with gratitude. Tiny San Marino overcame the pandemic within just a matter of seven days. Thanks to Sputnik V, the number of new cases in Argentina is now down to less than one percent. Do other countries really appreciate our support, and should we continue helping them? Sergey Lavrov: Indeed, we were not only the first to register a vaccine, but we also declared our readiness to supply it on a transparent and non-discriminating basis. I am quite sure that our partners appreciate what we are doing.

23.07.2021 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on recent statements by MI5 Director General Ken McCallum

We have noted statements by MI5 Director General Ken McCallum, which have been taken up by the British media, referring to security threats facing the United Kingdom, allegedly emanating from the actions of hostile states, namely, cyber-attacks, misinformation, etc. Director General Ken McCallum also lists Russia among such hostile states. At the same time, all of his assertions are in the well-known “highly likely” style. He provides no evidence or specific facts and merely speaks about certain hybrid threats. There is no specific example to confirm all this; however, this creates a narrative that is detrimental for and has a destructive effect on interstate dialogue and the normal development of bilateral ties.

22.07.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's interview with Interfax news agency, Moscow, July 21, 2021

Question: The German-US draft agreement on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline ties up Ukraine's energy security with new sanctions on Russia that the Germans will be able to impose. Does Russia think the latest threat of sanctions is acceptable? Will it affect the implementation of the project? Sergey Lavrov: Any threat of sanctions, be it new, old or ongoing, is unacceptable, because only the UN Security Council can impose them. Our Western colleagues, primarily the United States and the European Union, which is quickly adopting these “bad habits,” are quite often carried away by sanctions. They are no longer interested in the culture of diplomacy or talks. In fact, they are losing it. They want instant results.

17.07.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation between China and Russia, published by the newspapers Rossiyskaya Gazeta (Russia) and Renmin Ribao (China), July 16, 2021

Relations between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China have reached an all-time high, setting an example of interstate cooperation in the 21st century. Just as in any story of success, there are backbone pillars in our relations that set the tune for our forward development in the years ahead. One such pillar in the development of modern Russian-Chinese ties was the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation. Twenty years ago, it was signed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of China Jiang Zemin.

13.07.2021 - Article by Vladimir Putin ”On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians“, 12.07.2021

During the recent Direct Line, when I was asked about Russian-Ukrainian relations, I said that Russians and Ukrainians were one people – a single whole. These words were not driven by some short-term considerations or prompted by the current political context. It is what I have said on numerous occasions and what I firmly believe. I therefore feel it necessary to explain my position in detail and share my assessments of today's situation.

09.07.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address on Russia’s International Activities for Russian Regions’ Development, delivered at Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), and answers to questions from students and faculty, Vladivostok, July 8, 2021

Thank you for the opportunity to speak here. I have returned from a short Asian tour, during which I visited Indonesia and Laos. We also held a meeting of the Russian and ASEAN foreign ministers in a hybrid format. What we do during our foreign trips and talks with our foreign partners is not done for its own sake. We do it to implement our foreign policy, which was approved by the President of Russia in the Foreign Policy Concept adopted in 2016.

22.06.2021 - Article by President Vladimir Putin ”Being Open, Despite the Past“ published in the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, 22 June 2021

Article by Russian President Vladimir Putin ”Being Open, Despite the Past“ published in the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.

09.05.2021 - President Putin's address at the military parade marking the 76th Anniversary of Victory

Citizens of Russia, Dear veterans, Comrades soldiers and sailors, sergeants and warrant officers, midshipmen and sergeant majors, Comrades officers, generals and admirals, Happy Victory Day! The Victory had a colossal historic significance for the fate of the entire world. It is a holiday that has always been and will remain a sacred day for Russia, for our nation. It is our holiday by right, for we are blood relatives of those who defeated, crushed, destroyed Nazism. It is ours because we descend from the generation of victors, a generation we are proud of and hold in great honour.

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