22 September 2017
Moscow: 07:36
London: 05:36

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

 

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

15.05.2017

Excerpts from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's interview with Channel One’s Vremya weekly news and analysis programme, Beijing, May 14, 2017

Question: The meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson only lasted forty minutes, compared to the Moscow meeting which was took one hour longer. Nevertheless, it seems that you had enough time to achieve the needed results. Specifically, you said that you talked about Syria at length, and the Americans were people of action. Could you be more specific about the action you were referring to here? Could you share some details about this meeting?

Sergey Lavrov: Firstly, Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow was important because of the mere fact that it provided an opportunity for the first face-to-face meeting at foreign minister level and a meeting took place with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Since this was the first contact of this kind, we spent quite a lot of time going through all the subjects on the agenda related to bilateral ties and international and regional issues. The visit to Washington was a follow-up to the conversation already started in Moscow. Rex Tillerson and I had a meeting that lasted about two hours, and a little less than an hour in the White House, where we talked at length with US President Donald Trump about Syria (as I have already said at the press conference in Washington), primarily focusing on the groundwork that was laid last year, and further efforts along these lines by the new administration.

You’re probably wondering what this is all about? Both countries, as well as other major players in the Middle East, including Turkey, Iran and Persian Gulf states, should use their influence over various actors in Syria in order to induce them to implement in good faith the UN Security Council Resolution whereby talks should be held, a new constitution drafted and elections prepared. Russia has reached an understanding with the US on this issue. The fact that it is always easier to agree on such things than to actually implement them is another matter, especially given the multitude of actors on the ground in Syria: primarily the Syrians themselves, ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and those who are working with it. It is for this reason that it is so important to ensure that all these forces are separated from one another. We reached an agreement to this effect with Barack Obama’s administration, but it was unable to deliver on its part of the deal.

This time, in our contacts we focused on the initiative put forward by Donald Trump in the early days of his presidency, when he proposed creating security or de-escalation areas free from any military action, the only exception being terrorists, if any, who were to be chased away from these areas so that civilians would feel safe. As you know, building on this agreement, several days ago at the meeting held in Astana, we agreed on a memorandum with Turkey, Iran, the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the armed opposition, establishing zones of this kind in four regions of Syria, with the intention to have the whole Syrian territory covered by this initiative in the future.

Question: On the photo image that, as we have found out, was initially intended for publication, we see you and US President Donald Trump warmly greeting each other. Only two months ago there were reports saying that the relations between Russia and the US were worse than during the Cold War. How did everything change so quickly? What was the President’s attitude during the meeting?

Sergey Lavrov: Neither during his campaign nor after becoming president did Donald Trump say that he wanted to have bad relations with Russia. On the contrary, he said that he wanted to build normal, mutually respectful relations with all countries, including with the Russian Federation, based on well-informed, common interests. Fighting terrorism is one such example. In my opinion, Donald Trump’s position in this respect has always been consistent.

Question: Did you discuss with him the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey?

Sergey Lavrov: No, we did not. We have nothing to do with this issue that falls within his authority.




LATEST EVENTS

20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during talks with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, New York, September 19, 2017

Once again, I would like to thank you for the hospitality you showed us several months ago. We also look forward to your visit.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Peter Szijjarto, New York, September 19, 2017

As you know, we have always advocated the unity of the European Union, so we wish you all the best.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during talks with President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, New York, September 19, 2017

We value any opportunity to hear your views on developments in the region, as well as to coordinate our further steps regarding the issues of concern to us in the interests of stability in the Balkans and the development of the region’s countries in accordance with the will of their people.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, New York, September 19, 2017

Sorry for a small delay. Very nice to see you again. We believe that our dialogue is important. After your visit five years ago, this would be a good occasion to check where we are and what we get to do together to promote our very good relations and friendship.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with TASS and The Associated Press, New York, September 20, 2017

Question (in English): After your meeting with Secretary Tillerson, how would you evaluate the relationship with the United States? And has Russia given up on hopes of a significant improvement under the Trump administration? Sergey Lavrov (in English): The relations are at a very difficult and a very low point, which is the legacy of the Obama administration. We certainly noted what President Trump was saying when he was running for president about the relations with Russia and what he continues to say. Basically, that he wants to have good relations with Russia, understanding that this would be in the American interests and the interests of solving quite a number of important and most acute world problems. And what I feel talking to Rex Tillerson is that this is the position of the administration. They are not happy with the current state of relations, and we are not happy at all. And I believe that the understanding is that we have to accept the reality which was created, as I said, by the spiral of unfriendly steps started by the Obama administration, but this reality is with us. And being responsible people, I believe the Russian Government and the US administration should exercise this responsibility in addressing the bilateral links as well as international issues. We are not yet at a point where this would become a sustained trend but understanding of the need to move in this direction is present, in my opinion.


19.09.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov

On September 18, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.


18.09.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

On September 16, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the initiative of the US side.


18.09.2017 - Joint statement by Iran, Russia and Turkey on the International Meeting on Syria in Astana 14-15 September 2017

reaffirming their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic; guided by the provisions of UNSC resolution 2254 (2015);


15.09.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

On September 14, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by phone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the US initiative.


15.09.2017 - Press release on Alaska delegation’s visit to Russia

On September 4-10, Russia was visited by a group of public figures from Alaska, including representatives of the academic community and non-governmental organisations, members of the Alaska Historical Society and prominent figures of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America.



all messages