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

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

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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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