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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...


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.

20.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the launch of the Russian Film Week (19 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, It is a pleasure for me to be at the opening of the second edition of the Russian Film Week here in London – which this year also spans to Cambridge and Edinburgh.

16.10.2017 - Unpublished letter to the Editor of The Times (sent 12 October)

Sir, If British MPs are free to speak out, wherever they wish, on any issue, why try to block their freedom of speech (“Helping Putin”, 11 October)? If a TV channel wants (and is legally bound) to present different points of view, why slam those who express these views? If the mere act of giving an interview to foreign media amounts to high treason, why does The Times interview Russian politicians without fear? And finally - while MPs critical of Russia are welcome guests on the Russian TV channel RT, does your paper give the same treatment to those critical of the paper’s owner? Konstantin Shlykov Press Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation

25.09.2017 - PRESENTATION by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at the Christian Future of Europe Conference 22 September 2017, London

Your Eminences and Your Excellencies, dear Mr. Ambassador, conference organizers and participants, I cordially greet all of those gathered today at the Russian Embassy in London to partake in this conference dedicated to the question of the future of Christianity in Europe. This topic is not only not losing any of its relevance, but is resounding ever anew. Experts believe that today Christianity remains not only the most persecuted religious community on the planet, but is also encountering fresh challenges which touch upon the moral foundations of peoples' lives, their faith and their values. Recent decades have seen a transformation in the religious and ethnic landscape of Europe.

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