18 October 2018
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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

17.09.2014

Interview by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with Russia Beyond the Headlines, Rossiyskaya Gazeta’s supplement to Spain’s El Pais

Question: What can Russia do to settle the Ukrainian crisis?

Sergey Lavrov: Our position is absolutely clear: we want peace in Ukraine, which can only be attained through a wide-ranging national dialogue involving all of the country’s regions and political forces. It was this that Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine agreed to in Geneva on 17 April.

Russia has been actively assisting the emergence of favourable conditions for a peaceful solution to the serious problems confronting Ukraine. During their meeting in Minsk on 26 August, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko stressed the need for an early end to the bloodshed and a transition to the political settlement of the entire set of problems in the country’s southeast.

On 3 September, Vladimir Putin proposed a seven-point action plan for stabilising the Ukrainian crisis. Based on the results of the Trilateral Contact Group’s meeting in Minsk on 5 September, President Poroshenko’s representatives and the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) signed a Protocol with regard to further joint steps aimed at, among other things, implementing the Russian President’s initiative.

This understanding is an important step in the process of crisis peaceful crisis settlement in Ukraine and designed to serve as a fulcrum point in starting an internal Ukrainian political dialogue that would seek the way toward national accord. We proceed from the assumption that all provisions of this document should be meticulously met.

We note that the ceasefire has been generally observed, although there are isolated incidents in which both sides are blaming the other. The important thing is to prevent them from escalating and leading to renewed hostilities. We are concerned about reports that the Ukrainian siloviki have been concentrating heavy weapons in an area. The Kiev authorities are assuring us that they have no plans to disrupt the ceasefire. We will follow the developments closely. We support the DPR’s and the LPR’s proposal on the urgent deployment of an OSCE observer mission in areas where the conflicting sides are in contact.

The order of priority and modality of measures contained in the Minsk Protocol will be additionally coordinated by the sides. We hope that the effort to implement the document’s provisions will be supported by our foreign partners.

Question: Is it likely that the Ukrainian crisis will be further escalated and lead to a military conflict in Europe?

Sergey Lavrov: Ukraine is facing a choice between peace and a constructive dialogue in society, on the one hand, and authoritarianism and a national radical dictatorship on the other. It is up to Kiev and Ukrainian society to decide.

For our part, we are confident that there is now a real chance to stop the fratricidal war in Ukraine. For this, it is necessary, in parallel with keeping the ceasefire, to start, as soon as possible, a meaningful, open, and inclusive internal Ukrainian dialogue involving representatives of all regions and all political forces. Within this framework, it is necessary to discuss a set of issues related to a constitutional arrangement and generally the future of the country, where all ethnic groups, minorities and regions can live in comfort and safety and where the diversity of human rights will be honoured.

To preclude any further escalation in Ukraine, it is very important for all outside parties without exception to display reserve. We regret that this cannot be said for some of our Western partners who, instead of making an in-depth analysis of the complicated internal socio-political processes in the country, prefer to groundlessly shift the blame for the current developments to Russia.

We note the destructive role of NATO throughout the entire internal Ukrainian crisis. In particular, the alliance has set a course to strengthen Ukraine’s military potential which is known to be used against peaceful civilians. NATO leaders are supporting certain member states’ intentions to expand the deliveries of specialised and military equipment to Ukraine, which could be used by the Ukrainian authorities for reprisals at home. Thus, Kiev has been prodded to resolve the conflict by force.

It is clear that the meaning and tonality of statements regarding the situation in Ukraine, made by participants in NATO’s UK summit, along with the announcement of plans to hold Ukraine-NATO military exercises in Ukraine before the end of this year, are not helping the peace process and are only deepening the rift in Ukrainian society.

Nevertheless, we are ready to cooperate with our Western partners in order to settle the crisis in Ukraine. We hope that the US and the EU will use their influence to impel the Ukrainian authorities to peace.

To be continue...




LATEST EVENTS

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”.


21.04.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's talking points at the Press Conference, 20 April 2018

Since we met last time a lot of events took place: - Military strikes of the United States, UK and France against Syria in violation of the international law - Mission by OPCW inspectors to Douma - Speech of Prime Minister May in Parliament in support of the British aggression against Syria - Special meeting of the OPCW Executive Council (18 April 2018) - New developments in the classified case of Salisbury poisoning of Skripal family - No meaningful developments on the Glushkov case - and Cyber security threats I plan to comment all these issues. And I will be happy to answer all our questions, if you have any.


17.03.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Mail on Sunday" (full text)

Q: Bearing in mind that the US, France and Germany have said they agree with Britain that all the evidence suggests the attacks in Salisbury were the responsibility of the Russian state, what credibility can be placed on the denials issued by the Russian Government? A:We don't know if UK presented any evidence to US, France and Germany - highly likely none - but if they did, why not present it through the channels outlined in the Chemical Weapons Convention? Universal legal principle is presumption of innocence, and the burden of proof lies with the British Government. Its record includes the Iraq WMD dossier - you will remember that at some point doubting US and UK claims was considered a wild conspiracy theory. It is not any more.


26.01.2018 - Main foreign policy outcomes of 2017

In 2017, Russian diplomacy addressed multidimensional tasks to ensure national security and create a favourable external environment for our country's progressive development. Russia maintained an independent foreign policy, promoted a unifying agenda, and proposed constructive solutions to international problems and conflicts. It developed mutually beneficial relations with all interested states, and played an active role in the work of the UN, multilateral organisations and forums, including the G20, BRICS, the SCO, the OSCE, and the CSTO. Among other things, Russian policy has sought to prevent the destabilisation of international relations, and this responsible policy has met with broad understanding in the international community.



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