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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview for Russia Beyond the Headlines supplement to Handelsblatt, May 6, 2015

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview for Russia Beyond the Headlines supplement to Handelsblatt, May 6, 2015


Question: Historically, Russia and Germany have attached special significanceto their relations. We share long-standing and broad political, cultural and, of course, economic ties. What role can and should business play in enhancing trust between the two countries, especially at a time when political contact is limited, as is the case now with the Western sanctions against Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: The relations between our countries have been an important factor inEuropean politics for decades. In recent years, they were reallymultidimensional, encompassing almost all possible areas of cooperation from politics and the economy to culture and research.

We regret that Berlin has used the internal Ukrainian crisis as a pretext for scaling backourmain bilateral cooperation toolsand suspending a number of important joint projects and areas of cooperation. Trade declined for the first time in many years with a 6.5 percent drop to 70.1 billion dollars, Russian data show.

When political dialogue falters, and this wasn’t Russia’s initiative, the importance of the business community in the two countries obviously increases in terms of preserving trust, mutual understanding, promoting a positive agenda and building capacity for future relations. I’m confident that our relations have great and even unlimited potential.

For Russia’s part, we maintain regular contact with Germany’s business community, discuss prospects for cooperation and specific projects. In the last six months, I have had two meetings with German business leaders, one in Moscow, and the other in Munich. The heads of the leading German companies operating in Russia openly voiced misgivings over the sanctions spiral unleashed by the European Union, and confirmed their willingnessto continue working with their Russian partners.

Let me remind you that in the early 1950s, even before the USSR established diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany, it was the representatives of the German business community who pioneered mutually beneficial cooperation. This fully applies to the Cold War period when the famous gas-for-pipes deal was signed, which in fact became the foundation for our energy partnership.

I’m confident that the logic of mutual and equal cooperation will prevail. Such an approach is in line with the vital interests of the business community, the peoples of Russia and Germany, and even the entireEuropean Union.

Question: Do Moscow and Berlin share any common interests as they strive to overcome the Ukraine crises along with other negative trends inthe international arena?

Sergey Lavrov: Ukraine’s internal crisis is centre stage in the foreign policy dialogue between Russia and Germany. We agree that an escalation of tensions would negatively affect Ukraine and the European security framework in general.

It is for this reason that both Russia and Germany are interested in reaching a comprehensive settlement as soon as possible by rigorously implementing the provisions of the February 12 Minsk Agreements. We are also working together within the so-called “Normandy format.”

On April 13, Berlin hosted a meeting of the Normandy Four foreign ministers. A statement was adopted to reaffirm the commitment to the Minsk Agreements, and emphasise the need to fully respect the ceasefire regime and the requirement to withdraw heavy weapons, as well as address pressing humanitarian problems and facilitate the political process and constitutional reform, taking into account the interests of all Ukrainian regions and citizens.

I believe that neither Berlin nor Moscow are interested in creating a new divide in Europe, which would result in fewer opportunities for people in the west and in the east of the continent for finding reliable sources of sustainable development.

Understandably, the breakdown in European affairs cannot fail to have a negative impact on the ability of the leading powers to be productivein their joint efforts in addressing international challenges such as non-proliferation and arms control, combatting extremism and terrorism, regional conflicts, and above all the explosive situation in the Middle East and North Africa. After all, the logic of global developments proves that working together is the only effective answer to mostchallenges and threats.

I also believe that we must stop trying to take on various issues separately, unable to “see the forestfor the trees.” Our interconnected world is going through complex and turbulent times. In this situation, without a strategic global vision, we couldlose the ability to makethe rightdecisions.

Russia does not refuse to cooperate. Being a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia bears special responsibility for sustaining international peace and security. We hope that common sense ultimately prevails.

To be continued...


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.

17.01.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the unveiling of memorial plaque in Sayes Court Park

Dear Mayor, Dear Councillors, Lady Joan, Ladies and gentlemen, It is now 320 years ago that a truly remarkable man set foot in Deptford. As you know, the Russian Tsar Peter, later named the Great, visited Western Europe in 1697—1698 under the nickname of Peter Mikhailov, with his Grand Embassy. He was eager to find out about the latest achievements in science and technology and create new diplomatic alliances. Of course, England couldn’t escape his attention. He mostly studied shipbuilding at the famous Deptford Dockyard, but he also met King William III, and, reportedly, Isaac Newton. Peter’s landlord, the famous John Evelyn, was also a respected scientist – a founder member of the Royal Society.

13.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I am pleased to welcome you to the Russian Embassy at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee. It’s a common knowledge, that football is the most popular game in the world. It is an honour for us to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time in the history of our country. I believe that those who come to Russia to support their national teams will leave with unforgettable memories.

08.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo (7 December 2017)

25.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the reception at the Embassy dedicated to Russian Film Week (24 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding Russian opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky who passed away this week. In 2015 he gave a concert in this very hall. I am delighted to welcome you at our reception dedicated to the Russian Film Week and the environmental causes it champions. This year their charity partner is World Wide Fund for Nature, which runs many projects in Russia in coordination and with support of the Russian Government. Russia has a unique, fascinating wildlife. A number of this week’s films show the natural beauty of our land and are sure to raise awareness of how fragile this beauty is. We appreciate the WWF effort in Russia and worldwide and call on everybody to become a supporter, especially this year, marked as Year of Ecology in Russia.

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