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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

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

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?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe that the SCO is a very promising modern mechanism for promoting foreign policy priorities. Initially, the SCO was established to deal with border issues. But its members gradually became aware of its advantages for addressing more serious matters, including for coordinating their efforts to strengthen Asia Pacific security, promoting economic development and trade, and lifting barriers. Another vital SCO element is humanitarian cooperation, which is acquiring more practical forms, such as youth exchanges and exchanges between women’s organisations and parliaments, sports interaction, and much more.

In addition to ensuring security and creating conditions for economic and social development in the member states, the SCO’s voice is gaining more weight during international discussions at the UN and the G20. And it is a highly constructive voice. In fact, it provides an alternative to those who would like to dominate international affairs, first of all our Western colleagues. In this context, the documents, which the SCO foreign ministers approved a few days day ago, are a major step forward when it comes to the ongoing international discussions on what the world should be like.

The SCO’s firm stand is that it should be a fair and democratic world based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states without exception. The SCO has put forth a number of important and constructive initiatives towards this goal, towards creating a new multipolar world where all the guiding principles are based on the UN Charter.

The SCO has great potential, as you can see from the number of countries that would like to join the SCO as full members, observers or dialogue partners.

Question: Western countries are once again talking about imposing new sanctions on Russia. If they end up doing so, will Russia respond or just ignore them?

Sergey Lavrov: Last I checked, the reciprocity principle was still valid in international relations. Let's wait and see what the new sanctions look like. Of course, we will respond. We cannot leave this without a response. First, it would be wrong in terms of the laws governing diplomacy. Second, we are seeking to limit the negative influence exercised by various Western structures, including states and the numerous NGOs, on our plans and the plans that our allies have.

The Western sanctions have been an eye-opener for us. They started long before the events in Ukraine or the referendum in Crimea. This process can be traced back to the Obama administration, when Edward Snowden found himself on Russian territory. He may have broken the US law, but he was persecuted for exposing activities by US structures, which were totally illegal, illegitimate and in many ways criminal, consisting of using unacceptable approaches abroad and undermining legitimate governments. Since then, we have grown used to sanctions. Reducing our response to all this to the so-called import substitution would be a narrow way of looking at things.

In principle, the geopolitical response over these years consisted of recognising that our Western partners were unreliable, including, unfortunately, members of the European Union. We had many far-reaching plans, and there are documents setting forth the path to developing relations with the EU in the energy sector and high technology, and stepping up economic cooperation in general. We share a single geopolitical space. Considering our shared geography, logistics, and infrastructure across the Eurasian continent, we benefit from a substantial comparative advantage.

It would certainly be a grave mistake for us and the European Union, as well as other countries in this space, including the SCO, the EAEU, and the ASEAN, which is also nearby, not to use our comparative geopolitical and geoeconomic advantages in an increasingly competitive world. Unfortunately, the European Union sacrificed its geoeconomic and strategic interests for the sake of its momentary desire to match the United States in what they refer to as “punishing Russia.” We have grown used to this. We now understand that we need a safety net in all our future plans related to reviving the full partnership with the European Union. This means that we need to proceed in a way that if the EU sticks to its negative, destructive positions, we would not depend on its whims and could provide for our development on our own while working with those who are ready to cooperate with us in an equal and mutually respectful manner.

Question: The Americans are seeking to rally everyone against China, and are sending unambiguous signals to Russia. What do you think about the policy of forging friendships against someone?

Sergey Lavrov: This kind of policy is alien to us. Neither Russia nor China, nor our allies have ever proposed building friendly relations for the sake of opposing someone. The very approach of pitting someone against those you do not like contains an answer to the question of what we think about it. This represents a diplomatic and political culture that is totally different from ours. We want to build good relations with everyone. Whenever we seek stronger ties with anyone, we never require undermining relations with states that have fallen out with Washington or anyone else as a price to pay for cooperation.

I believe that the notion of being “friends against someone” contradicts the very meaning of “friendship.”




LATEST EVENTS

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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