16 October 2019
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591 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     583 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

30.09.2019

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s speech at the 11th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Esteemed Co-Chairs,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am happy to welcome all those present in this hall. I hope the conference will fully meet the requirements stipulated in Article 14 of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and will let us approach our common goal – the treaty’s entry into force.

Regrettably, our conference was overshadowed by an outrageous incident linked with the failure of the US to fulfil its commitments on the timely issuance of visas for members of the delegations coming to work at the UN. Almost every member of the Russian delegation that was declared to take part in today’s conference failed to receive visas even though we complied with all the required procedures. Apparently, it is time to consider moving these conferences from New York to more stable venues where the host country treats its commitments responsibly.

Returning to the subject, I would like to welcome the signing of the treaty by Tuvalu and ratification by Zimbabwe and Thailand. With their accession, the number of countries that have signed and ratified the treaty has reached 184 and 168, respectively. Each new ratification is vital for the treaty – it makes its status closer to universal and draws attention to the liability of the remaining eight states on which its entry into force depends. 

Regrettably, the situation around the treaty has seriously deteriorated since the holding of the previous conference in 2017. The US official refusal to ratify the treaty is the main destabilising event. Our American colleagues and some of their associates claim that this decision does not change anything in practical terms. Meanwhile, it has serious destructive consequences for the treaty and international security in general.

The US refusal to ratify the treaty deprives it of the prospects to become an operational international treaty by virtue of its entry into force terms. The propriety of all efforts on forming a treaty-related infrastructure including an international monitoring system is being put under a big question mark.

Instead of revising its negative decision on the treaty Washington is trying to a cast a shadow on other states by accusing them of failure to observe it. This is being done without any grounds. This has already become common. The Americans do not support their assertions with any specific arguments. A country that does not intend (as it officially declared) to ratify the treaty does not have a formal or moral right to even discuss the commitments of other states to it. It is simply unseemly to use dirty tricks to cover up one’s potential withdrawal from the treaty.

We are seriously concerned about the US general destructive line as regards well-established and effective mechanisms and agreements on arms control and non-proliferation. We have said this more than once. A continuation of this policy is fraught with chaos and anarchy as well as lack of predictability in the nuclear field. The CTBT treaty is one of the major instruments for limiting the spread of nuclear weapons and promoting non-proliferation and is designed to play a fundamental role in ensuring international security and stability. Paradoxically, it was the United States that initiated drafting the treaty at one time. This has likely been forgotten by now.

As we see it, other states, including those listed in Annex 2 to the treaty, share the US position. The US could become the driver of the treaty’s ratification, it could set an example for others to follow. In this context, we urge the US government to revise its irresponsible decision on the treaty and take all the necessary steps for its ratification without delay.

We are also addressing our appeal to the seven countries on which the treaty’s entry into force depends. We urge them to sign and/or ratify the treaty as soon as possible. Needless to say, each of these countries is liable for the destiny of this document.

We appreciate the activities of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission headed by our well-known colleague, Lassina Zerbo. We have always supported the secretariat’s efforts to promote the treaty in the international arena. We also support the secretariat’s line on steady and balanced parameters for all elements of the mechanism for verifying compliance with the treaty. That said, we emphasise that the full and effective functioning of this verification mechanism is only possible after the treaty’s entry into force. The treaty can never be fulfilled on a temporary basis.

Having ratified the treaty in 2000, Russia has been strictly implementing its commitments. For us, this is the only effectively verifiable international treaty on the comprehensive ban of nuclear tests. There is no alternative to this. It cannot have any alternative. Russian leaders have repeatedly reaffirmed this position on the treaty.

Since 1991 Russia has observed a moratorium on nuclear testing. We have not staged a single nuclear explosion during this period. We intend to continue observing this moratorium given that other nuclear states follow the same line. We believe that a voluntary moratorium on testing, no matter how important it may be, cannot compensate for the failure to resolve the main task – to ensure the treaty’s entry into force. The unilateral commitments by individual states cannot replace full-scale international legal commitments under this document, either.

Russia closely cooperates with the preparatory commission on creating the Russian segment of the international monitoring system. Russia has already put 28 of the envisioned 32 facilities into service. We intend to make more progress in this area.

Esteemed Co-Chairs,

I reaffirm that we accept the final declaration of the current conference, which was negotiated in Vienna, including the list of measures on facilitating the treaty’s entry into force. We will take an active part in the implementation of these measures.




LATEST EVENTS

15.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answer to a question from Channel One following President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, October 14, 2019

Question: Ahead of the visit, it was called historic. Did it justify the description? Sergey Lavrov: The visit is historic in the sense that it is taking place for the first time during President Putin’s second term and reflects a qualitatively new level of our relations compared with his visit in 2007 and even compared with last year’s visit to the Russian Federation by His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.


15.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Russia 24 Channel for Interview with Maria Bondareva programme, Moscow, October 14, 2019

Question: We are living in a time of “fake news” and “information plants” and there are instances of wiretapping, hacking of mailboxes, etc. What should a 21st century diplomat be aware of? Do they teach this sort of thing at MGIMO? Sergey Lavrov: I do not think a diplomat needs to be aware of the technical or technological methods of hacking, wiretapping or anything like that. A diplomat should be prepared to see the information space flooded by fake and false news. Amateurs, including hackers, and states are doing this as well. Our Government and relevant services have repeatedly provided statistics on the number of hacking attempts at the websites of our government agencies, including the security services, intelligence, the Foreign Ministry, the Central Bank and Sberbank. Clearly, we will have to live with that for a long time.


11.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions following a meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers, Ashgabat, October 10, 2019

We are grateful to our Turkmen hosts for their excellent work in organising the CIS Foreign Ministers Council of work. Today marks the completion of the approval process for an important document initiated by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. I am talking about the Action Programme for enhancing the partnership between the foreign ministries of the CIS member states. This important document outlines our upcoming work with international organisations and at other venues, including regional organisations, such as the OSCE. It is very useful.


11.10.2019 - Statement by H.E. Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW, at the 92nd session of the OPCW Executive Council, The Hague, October 8, 2019

Mr Chairperson, Mr Director General, Ladies and gentlemen, First, allow me to welcome Ambassador Andrea Perugini at the head of the Executive Council. We would like to assure you, Mr Chairperson, of our full support and readiness for constructive work so that this year’s last regular session of the council will be as successful as possible.


04.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Asharq Al-Awsat pan-Arab daily, October 3, 2019

Question: Today, many are talking about the emergence of a new world order with a balance of forces that is different from what we observed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Do you agree with this idea? Sergey Lavrov: The year 1991 drew a line under the era of bipolar confrontation. There was a real chance to build a fair, sustainable, cooperation-based world order that would meet the interests of all participants of international affairs without exception.


03.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to Channel One questions Sochi, October 2, 2019

Question: There is some concern that President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky is not always capable of going the whole way to fulfil his obligations. Is there a Plan B regarding the Minsk Agreements? Sergey Lavrov: There cannot be any Plan B. The Minsk Agreements is the foundation on which everything else must be built. On the practical side, the Steinmeier Formula is a compromise solution compared to the original text of the Minsk Agreements approved by the UN Security Council.


03.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during the Valdai International Discussion Club’s panel on Russia’s policy in the Middle East, Sochi, October 2, 2019

Mr Kortunov, colleagues, Thank you for inviting me to the Valdai Forum and this discussion panel. I am grateful to the hosts for choosing the situation in the Near and Middle East as a discussion topic. It is the cradle of many civilisations and world religions. Now that it has turned into a platform for, to put it bluntly, reckless experiments that lead to tragic consequences, this topic has become very acute.


30.09.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions following the High-Level Week of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 27, 2019

It is gratifying that you are interested in our attitude to international matters, the work of the UN General Assembly and the participation of the Russian delegation in it. As usual, we have a packed schedule that includes dozens of meetings with the heads of state and government and their foreign ministers, talks with the UN Secretary-General and the President of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, as well as traditional contacts with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and within the framework of BRICS, the CSTO and the Middle East Quartet.


30.09.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper

Question: What will you tell US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the visa situation? Sergey Lavrov: This is obvious. They have denied visas to ten of our staff members, and this is only as regards the Foreign Ministry.


30.09.2019 - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the UN Security Council meeting on Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organisations in maintaining international peace and security: the contribution by the CSTO, CIS, and SCO in countering terrorist threats

Mr Secretary General, Members of the Security Council, Colleagues, Today, we are all faced with the problem of terrorism, which has grown more acute than ever. International terrorists, led by ISIS and al Qaeda, continue to sow terror and destruction around the world.



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