21 March 2018
Moscow: 17:45
London: 14:45

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 22, 2017

Question: I want to thank you on behalf of the UN Correspondents Association for this news conference and the ability to talk with you within the framework of the UN General Assembly.

Mr Lavrov, the overwhelming majority of the leaders who have already spoken at the UN General Assembly expressed concern over North Korea’s nuclear activity, and US President Donald Trump has even used the UN pulpit to threaten North Korea. Pyongyang has promised to respond. It appears that neither the US nor the North Korean leaders are ready to accept the roadmap that has been proposed by Russia and China. What can the international community do in this situation? What step should be taken next? Does Russia have any new proposal on the settlement of this crisis?

Sergey Lavrov: Thank you for your kind words.

Regarding the Korean Peninsula problem, we have no new proposals, because we are sure that the potential of the Russian-Chinese roadmap, which has been distributed at the UN in July of this year, is far from exhausted. We have not heard any reasonable arguments in response to our proposals to start working on this problem. Neither have we heard about the reason why our Western partners, including the United States, cannot accept our plan. Let me just remind you, that the roadmap is largely similar to the “four no’s,” which US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson formulated a month ago. We are convinced that the UN Security Council should make broader use of these US views.

As for the exchange of threats, this is definitely not a good thing. Indeed, it is unacceptable both to look on silently at the North Korean nuclear missile manoeuvres and to launch a war on the Korean Peninsula. This is the essence of these threats, if they are translated into actions. Therefore, we must cool down the hot heads, so that they understand that we need to take a break and consider a contact. If somebody wants to mediate in this, I am all for it. Some neutral European countries were ready to offer their services as intermediaries in this case. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that if he got such a request from the UN Security Council, he would certainly try to implement it. So, there are plenty of those who want to try a political rather than a military scenario or sanctions on the Korean Peninsula. I would like to remind you about what I said at the UN General Assembly yesterday: All of the UN Security Council resolutions without exception contain, along with sanctions, also provisions on the need to resume talks. Our Western colleagues who refuse to work towards this end, violate the obligations, which they assumed when drafting these UN Security Council resolutions. Russia and China will continue to press ahead for a reasonable rather than emotional approach, which looks like kindergarten toddlers fighting each other and everybody seems unable to stop them.

Question: Mr Minister, you and Russian Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya have said that you hope to be able to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. Is Russia willing to discuss missiles, human rights and Syria within the JCPOA or some other format?

Sergey Lavrov: Russia is not the only country to speak about the need to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. All the European countries involved in the talks have said so, plus the overwhelming majority of UN member states. The JCPOA is a complete document that has been approved by a UN Security Council resolution, and changing it is like destroying all our previous achievements. Everyone knows this. If the United States has any concerns regarding Iran, or if anyone else has any concerns about anyone else, these concerns must be settled within the framework of the formats that are suited for this. We have a negotiating process on Syria, a missile regime that does not prohibit countries from having ballistic missiles, and we have the Human Rights Council for dealing with human rights problems. Comparing apples and oranges would be an unwise choice, especially on such complicated topics as Iran’s nuclear programme.


21.03.2018 - Telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States Donald Trump at the latter’s initiative.

19.03.2018 - Russian presidential election held in London

On Sunday 18 March polling station 8061 opened at the Russian Embassy in London for the presidential election. The turnout was remarkably high, with over 3700 Russian nationals exercising their right. No incidents were recorded, election monitors and journalists were present at all stages of the electoral procedure. Full results are published on the website of the Central Electoral Commission of Russia.

18.03.2018 - Statement by Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, at the Security Council meeting on letter dated 13 March

Statement by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council meeting on letter dated 13 March 2018 from the Chargén d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council

17.03.2018 - Press release on summoning UK Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow to the Russian Foreign Ministry

On March 17, UK Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, where he was handed a note stating that in response to the provocative actions of the British side and groundless accusations against the Russian Federation with regard to the incident in Salisbury, UK on March 4, 2018, the Russian side has taken the following decisions in response. Twenty-three diplomatic staff of the UK Embassy in Moscow are declared persona non grata and are to be expelled from Russia within a week. Taking into account the disparity in the number of the two countries’ consular missions, the Russian Federation recalls its agreement on the opening and operation of the Consulate General of the United Kingdom in St Petersburg. Respective procedures will be followed in accordance with international legal practice. Due to the unregulated status of the British Council in the Russian Federation, its activities are terminated. The British side is warned that in case of further unfriendly actions against Russia, the Russian side reserves the right to take further retaliatory measures.

16.03.2018 - Statement by the Foreign Ministry

The decision by the Ukrainian authorities, released on March 16, 2018, not to allow citizens of the Russian Federation to the Embassy and general consulates of Russia on the day of the election of the President of the Russian Federation causes nothing but indignation. Such actions are unprecedented and do not fit into generally accepted ideas about civilised countries. The above steps contradict not only the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations, but also international human rights standards, in particular, the provisions of the 1950 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

14.03.2018 - Embassy Press Secretary comments on the death of Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov and the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Q: Can you comment on the mysterious death of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov in London? A: Regretfully, the Embassy has received no information whatsoever regarding the circumstances of the death of Mr Glushkov. The investigation is not transparent, the British side appears not inclined to cooperate. This can only cause regret. Today the Embassy made an official request to provide all the information in possession of the British side regarding this Russian citizen whose death, as you said, appears mysterious. Overall, we are surprised with UK authorities’ reluctance and unwillingness to provide us with full details of both the poisoning of Russians Sergei and Yulia Skripal and the death of Nikolay Glushkov.

14.03.2018 - Statement by the Foreign Ministry

The March 14 statement made by British Prime Minister Theresa May in Parliament on measures to “punish” Russia, under the false pretext of its alleged involvement in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter, constitutes an unprecedented, flagrant provocation that undermines the foundations of normal dialogue between our countries.

14.03.2018 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on US threats to launch military strikes at Syria

During the discussion of Resolution 2401 on the ceasefire and the humanitarian pause in Syria in the UN Security Council on March 12, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley implied that the US might launch military strikes at Syria similar to last April when such actions were based on unfounded unilateral US accusations of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government. Russia and Syria were also accused of violating the ceasefire and causing the suffering of civilians, primarily in East Ghouta.

14.03.2018 - Statement of the Russian Embassy

On 14 of March Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko was summoned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he was informed that 23 diplomats were declared personae non gratae. We consider this hostile action as totally unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted. All the responsibility for the deterioration of the Russia-UK relationship lies with the current political leadership of Britain.

13.03.2018 - Statement by Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW, Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, at the 87th session of the OPCW Executive Council on the chemical incident in Salisbury, The Hague, March 13, 2018

Mr Chairperson, In connection with the vicious attacks launched by British officials in London, as well as the statement by the head of the British delegation to the OPCW with regard to Russia concerning the suspicious story of two persons poisoned with a toxic agent in Salisbury, we would like to state the following. The British authorities’ unfounded accusations of Russia’s alleged involvement in using poisonous agents on their territory are absolutely unacceptable. Our British colleagues should recall that Russia and the United Kingdom are members of the OPCW which is one of the most successful and effective disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms. We call upon them to abandon the language of ultimatums and threats and return to the legal framework of the chemical convention, which makes it possible to resolve this kind of situation.

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