15 December 2018
Moscow: 22:21
London: 19:21

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  

286 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     278 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Interview given by Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, to Focus Bulgarian news agency, published on 7 July 2014

Question: In the 135 years of the diplomatic relations between Russia and Bulgaria, our countries have experienced all the turbulences in the European continent, lived through different regimes, types of political order, wars and conflicts. What is most important for the Bulgarian-Russian relations today? What should we know, remember and transfer to next generations?

Sergey Lavrov: It is important to see the main thing behind all the turns in the history of the Russian-Bulgarian relations – the deep mutual affection between two fraternal nations.

The special nature of Russian-Bulgarian ties is mainly conditioned by the closeness of our people, common Slavic roots, and spiritual and cultural heritage. When we are talking about the many-age old fundamentals of friendship between Russian and Bulgarian people, we remember Saints Cyril and Methodius, whom Russians and Bulgarians respect equally the names of Cyprian, Metropolitan of Moscow, and Metropolitan Kliment of Turnovo, General Mikhail Skobelev and Duke Nikolay Ignatyev.

Russia has always respected the Bulgarian people for the fact that they choose their development path independently. For instance, the instruction to the Russian Imperial Commissary in Bulgaria, Alexander, Dondukov-Korsakov, of 10 April 1878 emphasised: “The task of Russia is … not to destroy, but to create, not to arouse discord in the population, but to make all the elements closer and harmonise them”.

Our unique traditions of friendship hark back to our modern victories, which we secured in the fight for liberation of Bulgaria. The today’s evidences of them are the monument to Plevna Heroes in the centre of Moscow and the monument to the Tsar-Liberator and a monument temple to the Saint Alexander Nevsky in Sofia.

I am convinced that these common historical memories should be carefully preserved and transferred to the future generations, ensuring sustainability and the consistent development of equal and mutually beneficial Russian-Bulgarian cooperation for the benefit of our countries and people.

Question: What are the most important characteristics of our relations at the moment?

Sergey Lavrov: Russian-Bulgarian relations are characterised by fruitful interaction in different directions.

Our trade and economic ties are developing successfully. In 2013, the turnover of goods between our countries was 2.9 billion US dollars. In the past decade, the volume of Russian corporate investments into the Bulgarian economy reached 2 billion US dollars.

The most significant investment projects include the large-scale modernisation of the fuel and petrochemical refinery of the Russian KN Lukoil in Burgas, which is the largest in the Balkans. Today this company brings us about 25 percent of the total tax income to the Bulgarian budget. Other successful examples of cooperation are the creation of a unique Resort Complex of Kamchia, which was built on the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea for the funds of the Government of Moscow and the development of the network of petrol stations of OAO Gazprom.

According to the available assessments, over 300,000 Russian bought real estate in the territory of Bulgaria for the total amount of 4-5 billion US dollars. The growing trend of the flow of tourists to Bulgaria, over 680,000 of our nationals visited your country last year, confirms the genuine interest of Russians in Bulgaria.

Active contacts within the ambit of parliaments, sectorial ministries and agencies, regions, community and religious associations contribute to the extension of multifaceted Russian-Bulgarian ties.

Of course, cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian area is an important component of Russian-Bulgarian ties. Last year, large-scale events devoted to 135 years of liberation of Bulgaria from the Osman yoke were held in our countries. This year we celebrate 135 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Bulgaria.

There is a great potential for further extension of Russian-Bulgarian ties. The implementation of large joint projects, including in the area of energy, will contribute to Bulgaria’s economic development, reinforcement of its energy security and the increase of welfare of its nationals.

Question: In your opinion, are Bulgaria and Russia countries, which are related by history, traditions, Slavic roots and Orthodox faith, equal partners or opponents members from confronting blocs?

Sergey Lavrov: There are no confronting military and political blocs in Europe today. The logics of bloc confrontation, geopolitical games with zero result are part of the archaic ideological baggage of the “cold war” and is counter-productive in today’s world. The events in Ukraine and surrounding area are a particular evidence of this.

It is evident that only by combining our efforts, we can flourish and achieve welfare in the European continent, reinforce our stability and successfully fight against trans-border challenges and threats. The most important landmarks in this work are ensuring equal and undivided security for everyone and the use of international law as a foundation and reinforcement of the central role of the UN.. Principles of respect for the sovereignty of states, non-interference into their internal affairs are vital, which means that any attempts to stimulate anti-state coups and destabilise internal political stability are unacceptable.

In its foreign policy Russia consistently believes that we should search for a resolution to global and regional problems though the search for compromises. We believe that on such foundations Russia and the EU, the two largest players on the European continent, will be able to advance in the prospect of the implementation of creating a common economic and humanitarian space stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean – with participation of all other interested states, of course. I am convinced that we have all necessary prerequisites for the implementation of this ambitious task – common civilizational and cultural roots, high degree of complementarity of our economies, commitment to single trade rules of trade according to WTO norms.

We view Bulgaria as an important partner, and we build our dialogue with it in a pragmatic and mutually beneficial way. For us, Russian-Bulgarian relations have value in themselves – we are convinced that they should not become a hostage of external factors, dependant on fluctuations in the political climate. In particular, it is important that Bulgaria’s membership in the European Union does not negatively affect our bilateral cooperation, including the implementation of mutually beneficial projects, including in the energy area.

Question: Europe criticised the South Stream many times. How should Brussels and Moscow work to tone down the contradictions with regard to this project, and what is the role of Bulgaria in this process?

Sergey Lavrov: It is evident for us that the South Stream will make a weighty contribution to the complex energy security of Europe, contributing to the diversification of gas supply routes, which will allow to reduce transit risks. Everyone will benefit from it – Russia and European consumers, including Bulgaria, of course. With regard to our country, I mean, in particular, the participation of Bulgarian companies in the construction of the gas pipe, the creation of new jobs, the inflow of billion investments and new technologies, and prospectively large transit duty income and guaranteed long-term gas supplies. The demand for the South Stream of Bulgarian and the entire Southern Europe was generally emphasised many times by Bulgarian leaders.

We know that the European Commission has its own vision with regard to the construction and further functioning of the gas pipe in the context of provisions of the EU Third Energy Package. For our part, we believe that the bilateral intergovernmental agreements concluded between Russia and members states of the South Stream are fundamental legal documents for the implementation of this project. European Union laws should not be applied retrospectively, to impede the performance of earlier agreements.

We intend consistently promote this project. We should not allow for Europe to be used for somebody’s interests, so that our joint continent becomes a hostage to short-sighted ideology-driven approach.

We are ready for a constructive dialogue with all the interested parties. This January, a special Russia-EU work group on issues of implementation of the South Stream was created, within the framework of which experts started to develop potential outcomes. Earlier we offered to the EU to conclude a special bilateral agreement regulating the principles of the functioning of trans-border energy infrastructure. A draft of this document was prepared and submitted to Brussels.

We are convinced that the countries of the European Union, including Bulgaria, should play a more active role in the dialogue between Russia and the European Commission, because this project is significant for their national economies and increasing of energy security.



28.11.2018 - Statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin at the Fourth OPCW Review Conference

Statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin at the Fourth OPCW Review Conference in response to the USA, United Kingdom and Canada accusing Russia of not observing its obligations under Chemical Weapons Convention. Distinguished Mr. Chair, We consider absolutely unacceptable the groundless accusations voiced in the statement of the United States that Russia is in violation of its obligations under Article I of the CWC pertaining to alleged involvement of Russian nationals in use of a nerve agent in Salisbury. Such statements have absolutely no bearing on the facts and are effectively aired to influence the international community. The refusal of the United Kingdom to cooperate in any form with Russia on the “Skripal case”, which would be in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article IX of the CWC only underlines the emptiness of the accusations. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom has addressed the Technical Secretariat with a request to confirm the outcomes of its own national investigation, which contradicts the goals and objectives of technical assistance provided to a State Party under subparagraph e) of paragraph 38 of Article VIII of the CWC. As follows from the presented materials on the assistance provided in connection to Salisbury and Amesbury cases, we have to state the politically motivated nature of the undertaken measures.

30.10.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with ''Moscow. Kremlin. Putin'' TV programme Moscow, October 25, 2018

Question: Why did US National Security Adviser John Bolton come to Moscow? Sergey Lavrov: To talk. There are many matters we need to discuss. We appreciate it that it is US National Security Adviser John Bolton who is especially proactive regarding ties with his colleagues in Moscow. Question: Is this a joke? Sergey Lavrov: Not at all. Actually, we have meetings with Mr Bolton more often than with our other colleagues. He was here in July, and now he is back again. In between, he met with Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva. We believe that it is important when such a high-ranking official takes interest in the practical matters on our bilateral agenda.

24.10.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's introductory remarks at the opening of the 2nd Russia-UK Raw Materials Dialogue, 24 October 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, To me as Russian Ambassador to the UK, it is a privilege to address such an important Russian-British conference. The 2nd Russian-UK Raw Materials Dialogue has a great meaning for the professional community in our countries, for it covers a broad range of different topics from mining technologies, new material development and use of natural resources to international academic and scientific exchanges.

27.09.2018 - Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN Security Council meeting, September 26, 2018

Mr President, Colleagues, In the modern world, an efficient fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is becoming increasingly important for global and regional stability and the reliable security of all states without exception. Constructive cooperation in this area is an important component of the efforts to shape a positive international agenda. I think everybody agrees that the UN Security Council resolutions that outline specific measures against violations of non-proliferation must be strictly observed. Resolution 1540 remains the basis for this and contains obligations for the member states to take specific measures to prevent non-government agents from accessing weapons of mass destruction and their components. The UNSC decisions taken in pursuance of this resolution are particularly important as they include sanctions for handing over any types of weapons to terrorists. There have been incidents of such handovers and they must be thoroughly investigated.

07.09.2018 - Remarks by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following the UNSC meeting on the incident in Salisbury

Q: Do you expect British sanctions on Russia soon? A: We are not expecting or afraid of anything. Taking to the account how things have been developing during the recent years we do not exclude anything. This discussion and yesterday’s speech by the British Prime-Minister in the British Parliament are not coincidental. I think that’s looks like a prelude to a new political season. Q: So, Ambassador it’s really coming from the highest level in the UK. A: It always comes from the highest level. Last time when the incident took place it also came from the highest level. Q: But it seems that you are not taking it seriously. A: We are taking it very seriously. We were saying it all the time. Why we’ve been asking for cooperation with the UK from day one. Only few minutes ago Ambassador Pierce was referring to an ultimatum that Boris Johnson made in his letter to the Russian Ambassador in London when the incident took place presented as a request by the British site to cooperate while in fact it was a demand to to accept the gilt. At the same time our requests which we sent to British authorities constantly through OPCW and bilaterally were ignored.

06.09.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at Bolshaya Igra (Great Game) talk show on Channel One, Moscow, September 4, 2018

Question: Today we have a special guest in our studio, one of the main participants in the “great game”, someone the future of the world really depends on in many ways: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. We are happy to welcome you in the Great Game studio. Sergey Lavrov: Thanks for inviting me.

22.08.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's comment on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's anti-Russian claims

At a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's urges to European partners to slap their own sanctions on Russia in connection with the Salisbury incident.

16.08.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Salisbury Journal"

The Russian Ambassador said he stands together with the people of Salisbury in a meeting with the Journal last week, as the United States announced new sanctions against the country. Speaking at his official residence in Kensington Palace Gardens on Thursday, Alexander Yakovenko said: “We are together with the people of Salisbury.”

24.06.2018 - Greeting by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for the Znaniye school Family Day (Ealing, 24 June 2018)

Dear friends and guests, I am delighted to welcome you at a Family Day celebrating Russia and the World Cup. Today, Russia is the place to be for the whole world. It is a great pleasure to hear fans from all continents appreciating Russia’s hospitality, friendliness and openness to everyone. Right now, people from virtually every country see the 11 host cities, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals on the border of Europe and Asia, and realize how diverse and beautiful our country is. We’d like to bring a bit of Russia and the excitement of the World Cup to Ealing, for those who couldn’t make it to the tournament. By the way, so far both our teams are doing very well, and let us hope they keep up this good work. We cheer for both Russia and England but I’m afraid this can change if both teams meet at the semi-finals.

20.06.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Primakov Readings international forum, Moscow, May 30, 2018

Mr Dynkin, Colleagues and friends, Ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful for a new opportunity to speak at the international forum named after Academician Evgeny Primakov, an outstanding Russian statesman, academic and public figure. It is indeed a great honour for me. I consider Mr Primakov, with whom I worked at the Foreign Ministry in the latter half of the 1990s, my senior comrade and teacher, as probably do the majority of those who crossed paths with him at one point. Holding this representative conference under the aegis of one of Russia’s leading academic institutes – National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) that also bears Primakov’s name – has become a good tradition. The Primakov Readings have earned a reputation as a venue for serious dialogue of authoritative specialists on the most pressing issues of international politics and the global economy. Today, there is no lack of buzzwords used by politicians, experts and scientists to capture the current moment in international relations. They talk about the crisis of the “liberal world order” and the advent of the post-Western era, “hot peace” and the “new cold war”. The abundance of terms itself shows that there is probably no common understanding of what is happening. It also points to the fairly dynamic and contradictory state of the system of international relations that is hard to characterise, at least at the present stage, with one resounding phrase. The authors of the overarching theme of the current Primakov Readings probably handled the challenge better than others. In its title “Risks of an unstable world order’ they provocatively, and unacademically, combine the words “unstable” and “order”.

all messages