4 December 2021
Moscow: 02:07
London: 23:07

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 
1371 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1363 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

21.10.2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at the third meeting of the Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan, Moscow, October 20, 2021

Colleagues, guests,

I am pleased to welcome you to a meeting of the Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan in Moscow.

We find this mechanism highly important and consider it one of the most valuable ones from the point of view of developing regional consensus and common understanding of the path forward concerning the situation in Afghanistan and related matters.

The Moscow format’s main and indisputable advantage is that it unites Afghanistan with all neighbouring countries and other influential states of the region without exception. We regret the fact that our US colleagues are not participating in this meeting. We noted the fact that this is the second time in a row that the Americans have avoided an expanded troika meeting (Russia-United States-China-Pakistan). I hope this does not involve any fundamental problems. One of the reasons they gave us for their non-attendance was the recent appointment of a new US Special Representative for Afghanistan. I hope that the United States remains ready to work energetically on the Afghanistan-related agenda, and the new Special Representative will join in further steps, including ones that will follow in the wake of this Moscow-format meeting in the context of implementing the agreements that you will reach today.

As you may be aware, the Moscow format dates back to 2017. The delegations of the Taliban and the republican camp met for the first time at the Moscow format negotiating table in the presence of representatives of 10 countries in November 2018.

Now that the situation on the ground has turned around, it is pointless to look for someone to blame for the failure to achieve tangible results regarding national reconciliation. Notably, hopes pinned on the republican camp and the former government led by former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani failed.

A new administration is in office now. This hard fact places great responsibility on the Taliban. We note the efforts they are making to stabilise the military-political situation and to ensure the smooth operation of the public governance system.

Sustainable peace in Afghanistan remains a pressing goal. We believe that forming an inclusive government, which fully reflects the interests of all ethnic and political forces in the country, is the key to achieving it. This kind of “perspicacity” would be a good lesson for those who sacrificed national interests for the sake of their personal ambitions and literally left their people to the mercy of fate. This would also predetermine the trajectory of progressive development of Afghanistan, relying on the broadest possible groups of the population. Popular support is, of course, also dependent on competent social policy and observance of fundamental rights and freedoms. I had an in-depth discussion about this with the Taliban delegation before the meeting.

On the one hand, the new balance of power in Afghanistan which took root after August 15 has no alternative in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, the lack of official recognition in the international arena, problems in the socioeconomic and financial spheres and the humanitarian challenges faced by the new Kabul government indicate that the current state of affairs cannot yet be referred to as stable.

Numerous terrorist groups, primarily ISIS and Al-Qaeda, are trying to take advantage of this state of affairs, and are again rearing their heads and making brazen bloody raids in different parts of the country. Unfortunately, the problem of drug production in Afghanistan remains acute. There is a real threat of the terrorist and drug activity, including on behalf of those who masquerade as members of migration flows, leaking into neighbouring countries. In this context and for obvious reasons we are particularly concerned about Central Asia.

In order to counter the above threats to Afghanistan and to the contiguous region’s security, as well as threats that are projected onto other regions around the world there is a need for a timely and proportionate response both within the country and on the part of its international partners. We call on the Taliban (this was also discussed with the delegation) to do their utmost to prevent anyone from using the territory of Afghanistan against the interests of third countries, primarily, against Afghanistan's immediate neighbours - the countries of Central Asia – which are our friends and allies. We plan to engage our capabilities, including the capabilities offered by the UN, the SCO, the CSTO and other multilateral entities. The CSTO and the SCO summit meetings held in Dushanbe last month, as well as a special joint meeting of these associations at the highest level, which was dedicated to the situation in Afghanistan, showed overlapping approaches of both organisations to overcoming the challenges at hand. Importantly, both the SCO and the CSTO have a special mechanism that was created many years ago, which is dedicated to interacting with Afghanistan and identifying ways to promote stabilisation in that country.

We are content with the level of practical cooperation with the Afghan authorities. Today, it allows us to resolve the priority tasks of ensuring the security of Russian citizens living in Afghanistan and the failsafe operation of the Russian embassy, as well as other embassies for that matter, in Kabul. We are grateful to the Afghan authorities for their assistance to our journalists, which helps them to objectively cover internal political events, and for their aid in the repatriation of the Russians that happened to be in Afghanistan during the change of power.  

We consider important the decision to enable Afghan students that were accepted for study in Russian universities to continue their education in person. We plan to bring them to Russia in the near future. We will continue building business relations with Kabul with a view to resolving urgent bilateral issues.

The development of national education, public healthcare and other socially important areas, especially with very limited funds, certainly requires vigorous efforts and sometimes unconventional solutions on behalf of the new bodies of power, which are now in a state of being formed. Reports on the deteriorating living conditions of average Afghans are a source of serious concern. Analysts believe the humanitarian situation may worsen further due to the inability of a considerable part of the Afghan population to make a living. We hope representatives of the Afghan delegation will share with us today first-hand information about the current humanitarian situation.

We believe that it is time to mobilise the resources of the international community for efficient financial, economic and humanitarian aid, in part, with a view to preventing a humanitarian crisis and stopping migrant flows. The G20 Extraordinary Meeting on October 12 of this year illustrated the same or similar positions of the regional and external players on this issue. We expect a responsible attitude towards the Afghan people from the Western countries whose 20 year-long stay in the country has led to the current grave situation without contributing anything to the industrial and economic development of Afghanistan. The West is expected to provide not just traditional humanitarian assistance but also urgent help to ensure the payment of salaries to such socially important professions in Afghanistan as teachers and doctors.

We are convinced that the United Nations should pay a central coordinating role in pooling international efforts on the Afghan track. A collective appeal by those at the Moscow format meeting to the leaders and all members of the UN was published following today’s meeting. I hope it will be heard and we will receive a positive response to it in the near future.

We plan to send another consignment of humanitarian aid to the friendly Afghan people in the next few days.

Thank you for your attention. I wish you productive work.




LATEST EVENTS

19.11.2021 - President Vladimir Putin’s remarks at the expanded meeting of the Foreign Ministry Collegium, Moscow, November 18, 2021

The meeting was devoted to the implementation of national foreign policy and future tasks of Russian diplomacy.


12.11.2021 - Vladimir Putin took part, via videoconference, in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, November 12, 2021

The agenda of the summit, chaired by New Zealand, contains items on post-pandemic economic recovery of the region’s countries and APEC’s key areas of work to 2040. Following the summit, the participants adopted a Final 2021 APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration and the Aotearoa Plan of Action.


08.11.2021 - Six Lessons from a Pandemic

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev speaks about the past, present and future of combating COVID-19


02.11.2021 - Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to participants in forum on forest and land use held within 26th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, November 2, 2021

The President of Russia addressed the participants of the World Leaders Summit on Action on Forests and Land Use held within the framework of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, UK.


01.11.2021 - President Vladimir Putin`s address to the second session of the G20 Summit, October 31, 2021

Vladimir Putin took part, via videoconference, in the second working session of the heads of delegations from G20 member countries, invited states and international organisations. The participants in the second session, dedicated to Climate Change and the Environment, discussed, in particular, sustainable development and the transition to a low-carbon economy. Following the summit, the G20 Rome Leaders’ Declaration was adopted.


01.11.2021 - President Vladimir Putin`s address to the first session of the G20 Summit, October 30, 2021

The President addressed, via videoconference, the first working session of the heads of delegations of the G20 member countries, invited states and international organisations. The theme of the session is The Global Economy and Global Health. The agenda includes global economic recovery, ensuring digital transformation and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, overcoming the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, strengthening healthcare systems, and implementing universal vaccination. The Summit was held on October 30–31 under Italy’s chairmanship.


25.10.2021 - President Putin's telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

On October 25, 2021 President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson.


22.10.2021 - Vladimir Putin took part in a plenary session of the 18th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Sochi, October 21, 2021

Vladimir Putin took part in a plenary session of the 18th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.


20.10.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions following the 18th annual session of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Sochi, October 19, 2021

Question: The day before yesterday, Moscow announced measures in response to NATO’s aggressive moves. Are these measures prompted by Russia’s belief that NATO has to take the first step towards improving relations with Moscow? Sergey Lavrov: Yes, this is our approach. We have never been the first to start aggravating our relations with NATO, or the European Union, or any other country in the West or elsewhere. Everyone knows the following story: when in August 2008, Mikheil Saakashvili issued the criminal order to bomb the city of Tskhinval and the peacekeeper’s positions, including Russian peacekeepers, Russia insisted that the Russia-NATO Council meet to consider the situation. US Secretary of State at the time, Condoleezza Rice, refused flatly, although, according to the Founding Act, which was signed by Russia and NATO when they established the Council, it must be effective in any “weather,” particularly in the case of a crisis. This was one example [in a series of events] that led to the status quo of today in relations between our country and NATO.


27.09.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 25, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York.



all messages