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1626 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1618 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

27.07.2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with President of the Republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni following talks, Entebbe, July 26, 2022

Ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to thank our Ugandan friends and hospitable hosts, above all President of the Republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, for the warm welcome and meaningful and well-organised visit.

We spent several hours in detailed and substantive talks. We discussed all aspects of bilateral cooperation based on principled agreements reached by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in the course of their regular contacts, as well as conflict resolution issues in Africa and items on the international agenda.

President Museveni gave a conclusive, colourful and comprehensive overview of the history of our relations, which go back over 100 years since the period when Africa began to advocate decolonisation. Russia strongly supported the African countries and led the movement for independence, which ended in the early 1960s with the adoption of a corresponding declaration by the UN General Assembly.

In 1962, a milestone event took place in the life of the Ugandan people. They gained independence. Uganda was recognised by the Soviet Union that same year. We will mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations on October 13. We agreed to plan for the appropriate observances.

We reviewed matters of economic cooperation. There are long-term plans in areas such as energy, geological exploration, mining, research and education, telecommunications, cybersecurity and agriculture. We discussed projects related to cooperation in using nuclear technology for medicine and agriculture, as well as initiatives for future cooperation in launching a Ugandan satellite into orbit.

We agreed to work through these issues specifically and with an eye towards achieving practical results by the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Russian-Ugandan Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation to be held in October. Our preparations for the event will be based on the outcome of the Russian businesspeople’s mission to Uganda that took place in November 2021.

We reached an agreement to consider the creation of a laboratory with the help of Russian specialists to jointly study matters of prevention and control of epidemiological diseases.

We reviewed in detail the international situation from the perspectives of the principles laid down in the UN Charter, of which the most important is respect for the sovereign equality of states. We share the belief that precisely this provision should guide us in addressing any problems that may arise in international relations.

The President of Uganda cited examples from his own practice as a politician. To a question whether he is a pro-Western or a pro-Eastern politician, President Museveni gave the only correct answer for a serious politician. Unfortunately, relapses into colonial thinking and the instincts for colonial policy can be seen in the Western countries’ policies that want the whole world to take a “with-them-and-against-everyone-else” stance.

We spoke in detail about the events unfolding in the international arena and in international politics that are related to the goals that the West planned to achieve by pitting Ukraine against the Russian Federation. We highly appreciate and respect Uganda’s responsible and balanced position with regard to the situation in Ukraine and related developments that are shared by other African countries. We discussed the underlying causes for the ongoing crises in the energy sector and global food markets that unfolded amid a wide-scale media campaign. However, our African friends are aware of what caused this state of affairs and that it is not connected with the ongoing special military operation. We agreed to be mindful of the current status of our bilateral relations and to look for opportunities (in the energy sector and agricultural trade) that will not depend on our Western colleagues’ whims.

We reiterated Russia’s support for the efforts being made by Uganda to advance cooperation within the African Union, to resolve the multiple ongoing crises on the continent, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes Region as a whole, South Sudan, Somalia and the Central African Republic.

Russia adheres to the principled position whereby African problems can only have African solutions. The African countries should be the ones to determine how to address a particular challenge, and the international community represented by the UN Security Council and other foreign states must help the African countries politically and help equip peacekeeping contingents with modern equipment.

We reaffirmed Russia's position regarding talks on reforming the UN Security Council. We are convinced that the current Security Council is flawed in that the developing countries are not represented at all. This issue must be resolved by increasing the number of Asian, African and Latin American states represented in this leading UN body.

I thanked President Museveni for the warm welcome again. We will get busy preparing for the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations. In this regard, I invited Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda Sam Kutesa to visit Russia.

Question: We would like to know what you think about the current economic crisis in the country because some sections of the globe think and apportion blame to Russia because of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Sergey Lavrov: I have already replied to this question. I can say in addition that now our Western colleagues are blaming Russia for practically every problem.

This started long before the special military operation in Ukraine. Recall 2016: there is no Ukrainian problem but Donald Trump was “elected” by the Russian Federation. During the past six or seven years, the European Union said many times, without citing any evidence, that Russia “is using gas as a weapon,” and at the same time did everything it could to limit the gas pumping capacity of Nord Stream-1.

Not long ago, Poland refused to receive Russian gas directly via the existing gas pipeline. Ukraine has cut the volume of Russian gas through its territory in half. But Russia is “to blame” again. Nord Stream-2 is fully ready to meet Europe’s needs for this hydrocarbon, but it is closed for strictly political reasons. All investment in this mega project was made in full conformity with EU legislation, but as soon as everything was ready to open it, the European Commission retroactively (I emphasise this) adopted the regulations that are still being used to impede the operation of the gas pipeline that is vital for Europe’s energy security.

Now there is a lot of fuss about the Siemens turbine that was undergoing maintenance in Canada. Ottawa did not want to return it. Then, the German conglomerate managed to secure its return with the support of the German government. Nevertheless, nobody can explain to us clearly and on paper what the status of this and other turbines that are supposed to undergo maintenance in Canada is.

Now there is an uproar (I saw the latest news report) because Gazprom has to put one more pumping turbine on service. The European Union is going to hold an emergency session on energy during which we are bound to hear another portion of invectives against the Russian company. I have a simple question: are we urged to violate the existing regulations that ensure the safe operations of the gas main as is being done by German representatives, among others? I don’t understand how German representatives that are known for such national features as pedantry and orderliness can suggest violating the rules on which human safety depends.

The same is happening with the food crisis that started with price increases when the coronavirus pandemic broke out a few years ago. The Western countries began countering the consequences of this by printing weakly backed banknotes. Many other things that happened at that time reflected Western miscalculations in this area. We are aware of all this. The World Food Programme and the FAO have detailed reports on this issue.

The only link with the Ukraine situation in food security lies in the unlawful and aggressive sanctions imposed by the West on the Russian Federation. Restrictions concern the entire logistics, financial and transport chain that must be preserved and maintained for reliable Russian grain supplies to customers.

At the meeting in Istanbul on July 22 of this year, the Russian Federation and the UN signed a Memorandum whereby UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres assumed a commitment to achieve the lifting of the restrictions I mentioned. This promise is recorded on paper. I hope the UN Secretary-General will manage to fulfil what he signed.

You asked me a brief question and it is taking me a long time to answer it because Western propaganda plants these slogans – “Russia is to blame for the energy and food crises” – into the public mind. All this is planted into the brains of the masses and they start to believe it. I tried to bring the facts to your attention to help you figure it out. There are also many other opportunities and publications that explain the true reasons behind the current situation in the global economy.

Question: Many African countries are waiting for Russia to become directly involved in ensuring grain supplies to resolve the food crisis. You are now taking trips to the African countries. There is a controversy betweenEgypt andEthiopia over the construction of the Renaissance Dam. WillRussia discuss this issue?

 

Sergey Lavrov: Regarding the first part of your question, as I said earlier, you are guided by a catchphrase, “Why is Russia not resolving the food crisis?”  In my previous answer I tried to show that life is always much more complicated than catchphrases, even those designed by the Associated Press.

As for the situation with Egypt and Ethiopia in connection with the construction by Ethiopia of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, our position is that this issue should be resolved by the interested parties through direct negotiations between them, the way it should be in any situation. There are norms in international law and in the Khartoum Declaration, which the parties signed in 2015 – these are good beacons for the countries to reach mutually acceptable decisions. We support a process like this and are not imposing our mediation [on the parties to the dispute]. Several years ago, the United States appointed a special envoy, who “intrepidly” started to do his job but later he “lost heart and gave up,” and “retreated into the shadows.” Nobody remembers this now. I believe that in this situation, as well as in other situations evolving in Africa, the best solutions will include the African Union and the relevant African sub-regional organisations in mediating, assisting and supporting talks.

Question: Work is currently underway to develop a new concept for Russian foreign policy. Will the new version of this document accommodate amendments regarding the role and the importance of the African countries to Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: The role ofAfrica in the new Concept for Russian Foreign Policy will be given much more prominence. This would have happened regardless of the developments in the West, which as you know, is “cancelling” itself on its own. Given our principled and long-term, as well as short-term interests, the importance of Africa will be increasing as a result of what the West is doing in respect ofRussia. This will objectively force us to concentrate more onAfrica in our work.

We have started to prepare for the second Russia-Africa Summit scheduled for 2023. Working groups have been set up for this. I believe that, in cooperation with our African friends, they will prepare a solid package of documents containing practical and important agreements.

Question:  The war in Ukraine has taken a toll on almost all economies in the world, and Africa has been hard hit. How do you suggest, or what do you think can be done to resolve the Russia-Ukraine problem? Thank you.

Sergey Lavrov: You said that Africa is suffering from economic damage. Is it because of Russia? I have tried to answer this question twice now. If journalists have an assignment to ask me why Russia is doing this, I can only tell you to go back to my reply to the first question.

A few words about the situation on the ground and prospects for its development. President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni and I discussed this issue in detail today. Russia has never refused to hold talks. It is common knowledge that hostilities typically end at the negotiating table.

Ukraine suggested talks at the early stage of the military operation. We agreed. We had several rounds of talks that led to an interesting stage. On March 29 of this year, Ukrainian representatives suggested a version of the treaty in Istanbul. We supported it and notified our colleagues in Kiev about this. We never heard back from them even though, let me emphasise again, that we actually agreed with their approach. We know that partners like the United States, Britain, and a number of European countries prohibited the Ukrainians from coming to terms with Russia on the above foundation.

Listen to and read not the slogans you see, or on your screens or in social media but what Western politicians are saying. They are saying that “Ukraine must win on the battlefield,” “that it must achieve a military victory,” and “there can be no talks until Ukraine defeats Russia.” Look at these statements. I didn’t invent them.

I said in an interview several days ago that Russia had no problem holding talks with Ukraine. Several hours later, an official spokesman for the Department of State made a statement: the US believes that this is not the time for Ukraine to hold talks with Russia. Reach your own conclusion. Ask the Americans what the reason is.

One more quote. On July 7 of this year, President Vladimir Putin said during his speech that Russia is not refusing to hold talks, but that those who are should know that the longer they wait the more difficult it will be for them to come to terms with us.

Question: There are reports that some countries outside Europe continue to buy Russian oil despite sanctions. This is true. Why can’t Russia sell oil to Africa while prices are increasing day by day?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a strange question. You said there are reports that Russia is selling oil to individual countries despite the sanctions. Your question contains the assertion that there are sanctions and that everyone must observe them, if I understood you correctly.

We sell oil to any interested country. If any state, India, China or any African country wants to buy it, there are no obstacles at all. And, we are not just selling oil, we are also helping our partners develop their own sector to process hydrocarbons, produce oil products and use gas in industry. We are planning to discuss these issues with our friends from Uganda, and our discussions will be more detailed.

 

https://mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/1824012/?lang=en 




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The Foreign Minister drew the Secretary of State’s attention to the fact that the continued arming of the armed forces of Ukraine and nationalist battalions with US and NATO weapons, which are being used against civilians on a large scale, is only prolonging the agony of the Kiev regime by dragging out the conflict and increasing the number of victims. Mr Lavrov stressed that the armed forces of Russia strictly observe the norms of international law and that Russia has engaged in consistent efforts to restore peaceful life on the territories that it is liberating.


01.08.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions following a meeting of the SCO Foreign Ministers Council, Tashkent, July 29, 2022

The African countries – and they are not alone because our other interlocutors, for example, our colleagues in the SCO, with whom we met yesterday and today – understand well that any member of the international community who behaves in a way that does not suit Americans or who meets with their disapproval could face sanctions. Everyone has a deep understanding of this. What can be done? Today, we have agreed to submit proposals for the consideration of the leaders of our countries on taking concrete steps towards switching to payments in national currencies.


29.07.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting with Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi, Tashkent, July 28, 2022

We see the world becoming more diverse and balanced with a growing number of truly inclusive interaction formats coming to the fore. This evolution is backed by multiple countries, including Russia, China and most countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, which seek to pursue independent policies. We act as a team with our Chinese partners to support these processes and to advocate peace and order based on international law, genuine multilateralism and the centrality of the UN and the UN Security Council.


28.07.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks following talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen, Addis Ababa, July 27, 2022

Our positions on key regional and international issues have traditionally been identical or close because they rely on Russia and Ethiopia’s firm commitments to international law, primarily, the principles of the UN Charter, especially including respect for the sovereign equality of states. We see that the attempts by the United States and its allies to impose their views and development models on other nations and to promote their geopolitical zero-sum games run counter to these principles.


28.07.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks following talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen, Addis Ababa, July 27, 2022

Our positions on key regional and international issues have traditionally been identical or close because they rely on Russia and Ethiopia’s firm commitments to international law, primarily, the principles of the UN Charter, especially including respect for the sovereign equality of states. We see that the attempts by the United States and its allies to impose their views and development models on other nations and to promote their geopolitical zero-sum games run counter to these principles.


26.07.2022 - Foreign Minister’s Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions following his visit to the Republic of the Congo, Oyo, July 25, 2022

Our Western colleagues have become adept at distorting any news item when it can be used against Russia. Nothing surprises me anymore. Regarding the incident in Odessa, the obligations that Russia assumed under the agreements signed on July 22 in Istanbul say nothing about preventing us from continuing the special military operation, which can include destroying military infrastructure and other military targets. UN Secretariat representatives confirmed this interpretation of the documents yesterday.


25.07.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during a joint news conference with Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt Sameh Shoukry following talks, Cairo, July 24, 2022

Problems with the Ukrainian grain will be resolved through the coordination centre in Istanbul. It will be guaranteed that the Ukrainians clear their territorial waters from mines and allow the ships to sail from there. Throughout the itinerary on the high seas, Russia and Türkiye will ensure the ships’ safety with their naval forces. When the ships sail back to Ukrainian ports for new batches of food, they will be inspected to make sure no weapons are brought in. This document is publicly available. You can read it.


23.07.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement regarding agreements on transporting Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports and on promoting Russian exports of food and fertilisers, Moscow, July 22, 2022

Russia will honour its commitments in this regard. The fact that the United States and its allies are using food in the interests of their geopolitical adventures is unacceptable and inhumane.


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Moscow will continue to pursue a peace-loving foreign policy and play a balancing role in international affairs. We are in favor of broad interstate cooperation based on the provisions of the UN Charter, first of all the principle of the sovereign equality of states. We will continue to strengthen productive interaction with foreign partners who in their turn are willing to cooperate with us.


22.07.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statements and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Peter Szijjarto, Moscow, July 21, 2022

We reaffirmed our desire to continue the Paks NPP expansion project as planned with the assistance of the Rosatom State Corporation. The signed bilateral agreements and contracts include the entire life cycle of the NPP – from construction to fuel supply, and technical maintenance. We consider this project strategic in both scale and in terms of high-tech. We are steadily carrying out Russian hydrocarbon export projects. Implementation of the 2021 long-term contracts for natural gas exports from Russia to Hungary fully meet the interests of our countries.



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