21 September 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

14.07.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at the Korber Foundation

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak at the Korber Foundation before such a representative audience. We greatly value our constructive cooperation with your foundation. Foreign Ministry representatives, scholars and political experts actively participate in its events.

In the situation that has evolved in the international arena and in Europe today, it is of course vital to intensify dialogue. We are always open to discussion, including on the most acute, controversial issues.

Unfortunately, we still have to hear claims at both the political and expert level that Moscow is to blame for the present tension in Europe and the entire world. I’d like to remind you that ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall we have shown our cards, trying to do our best to assert the values of equal partnership in international affairs, based on respect for each other’s interests and the willingness to find well thought-out, balanced compromise solutions.

There is probably no need in this audience to say that our country played, without any exaggeration, a decisive role in the reunification of Germany, which, by the way, certain members of the anti-Hitler coalition tried to obstruct until the very last moment. Back in the early 1990s, we withdrew our troops from Eastern and Central Europe and the Baltic states and dramatically downsized our military capacity near our western borders – to reiterate, on our own territory.

We were always open to rapprochement with the European Union on a wide range of issues – from eliminating visa barriers and creating an energy alliance to working our joint solutions in the security and anti-crisis regulation area. We actively worked on implementing the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the roadmaps on creating four common spaces that were approved at the Russia-EU summit in Moscow in 2005. We put forward concrete proposals designed to make our partnership genuinely strategic. 

When the cold war era came to an end, Russia was hoping that this would become our common victory – the victory of both the former Communist bloc countries and the West. The dreams of ushering in shared peace and cooperation seemed near to fruition. However, the Unites States and its allies decided to declare themselves the sole winners, refusing to work together to create the architecture of equal and indivisible security. They made their choice in favour of shifting the dividing lines to our borders – through expanding NATO and then through the implementation of the EU's Eastern Partnership programme. Moreover, they blatantly presented their “eastern partners” with the dilemma of choosing either Russia or the West. There are many examples of that. The Ukrainian crisis, which was to a large extent provoked externally, became a direct consequence of this short-sighted policy of Washington and Brussels.

As the Western countries' elites were implementing a policy of political and economic containment of Russia, old threats were growing and new ones were emerging in the world, and the efforts to do away with them have failed. I think that the main reason for that is that the model of “West-centric” globalisation, which developed following the dismantling of the bipolar architecture and was aimed at ensuring the prosperity of one-seventh of the world's population at the expense of the rest, proved ineffective. It is becoming more and more obvious that a narrow group of “chosen ones” is unable to ensure the sustainable growth of the global economy on their own and solve such major challenges as poverty, climate change, shortage of food and other vital resources. The inequality in the development of certain regions and countries has only intensified in the past few decades. The most developed countries continue reaping most of the benefits of scientific and technological progress, and they do not accrue to all groups of the population within these countries, far from it. 

 

To be continued...

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2814020




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