26 January 2020
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693 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     685 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

14.01.2020

Interview of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the Daily News Sri Lankan newspaper, published on January 13, 2020

Question: Since the end of the Cold War and the inception of the multipolar world order, you have spent many years engaged in international affairs and geopolitics. Are there any peculiarities in the relations between Sri Lanka and Russia originating in that period?

Sergey Lavrov: The relations between our states have always been intrinsically valuable and independent from international developments. They have always been and continue to be based on the principles of equality, trust, mutual respect and consideration of one another's interests. The peculiarities specific to certain periods of history are of marginal significance, since they do not affect the inviolability of the bonds of friendship uniting our peoples.

The only thing to have undergone major changes over the past 25-30 years is probably the model of our trade and economic cooperation: the leading role has shifted from the public sector to the private sector, primarily due to the market transformations in the national economy.

Question: The Indian Ocean has become a ground for turf wars, especially in the context of the Indian Ocean states and coastal countries increasing their engagement in politics and economy and international trade flows continuing to play a crucial role for major world markets and industrial centers. How important is Sri Lanka's location in the Indian Ocean in terms of Russia's strategic interests?

Sergey Lavrov: The Indian Ocean should not be a cockpit of rivalry but an area of cooperation between costal and island nations jointly creating the conditions for sustainable social and economic development within regional entities, such as, for instance, the IORA, SAARC or BIMSTEC. This would also benefit Russia, given that the Indian Ocean region partly covers the territory of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. For example, Sri Lanka is a SCO dialogue partner.

Unfortunately, we have recently been witnessing persistent attempts of extraregional powers to reshape the established order to serve their narrow interests. The concept of a "free and open Indo-Pacific region" promoted by the United States has not a unifying but a destructive potential. Its true objective is to divide the regional states into "interest groups", weakening the newly-established regional system of inter-state relations to assert dominance.

Any new idea regarding the strategic development of the region should facilitate the establishment of a common area of cooperation. The regional architecture should be built in a concerted effort based on the principles of indivisible security, rule of international law, non-interference in the internal affairs, peaceful settlement of disputes and non-use of force or the threat of force.

It is known that Sri Lanka is located at the crossing of transit routes through the Indian Ocean. In this context, its significance can hardly be overemphasized. We welcome the plans of the new leadership of the state headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to transform the island into a major commercial and financial center of Asia with focus on developing transport infrastructure, modernizing the agricultural sector and attracting high-tech investments. We believe that the execution of these plans would benefit both Sri Lanka and its foreign partners in the region and beyond.

Question: Sri Lanka first maintained close economic ties with the Soviet Union and now enjoys ones with Russia. Are there any particular fields of economic cooperation that you plan to discuss during your visit?

Sergey Lavrov: In recent years, the Sri Lankan-Russian turnover has been floating around 400 million dollars. It clearly does not reflect the existing potential, which was also pointed out during the talks between President Maithripala Sirisena and President Vladimir Putin held in Moscow in 2017. The heads of our states set a target of increasing the turnover to 700 million dollars. In this respect, the Sri Lankan-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation is instrumental. It is its prerogative to elaborate concrete measures.

However, it can already be said that one of such measures could be diversifying the Sri Lankan export. It is dominated by just two items, tea and textile, accounting for about 90 percent of the country's trade. Russia is willing to offer Sri Lanka the products of its domestic industries, particularly the air-craft industry. Collaboration in the energy sector, as well as cooperation in agriculture and in the introduction of advanced information and communication technologies look quite promising. Tourism remains another important area of joint action, since Sri Lanka has become a popular tourist destination among Russians.

I expect these and other issues related to practical interaction to be substantively discussed during my visit to your country.

 

 https://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3993275?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw&_101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw_languageId=en_GB





LATEST EVENTS

16.01.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at a plenary session of the Raisina Dialogue international conference, New Delhi, January 15, 2020

Good morning and bon appetit to those who have some food on their tables. I would like first of all to thank the organisers of this conference for the invitation. I understand this is a young forum, but it managed already in a few years to acquire importance, popularity and reputation. It is indeed very appropriate that we get together more often than in the past to discuss where we are in international relations and which way we are heading.


15.01.2020 - Interview of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the Times of India newspaper, published on January 15, 2020

Question: What areas of cooperation will be in the focus of your visit to India and will determine the strategic partnership between the two states in 2020? What do you think about the Indian-Russian cooperation in general? Sergey Lavrov: This is a special year for our countries. Twenty years ago, India and Russia signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership.


14.01.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's letter to the Times in response to the Polish Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki on World War II

Sir, Polish Ambassador Rzegocki, in his letter published on 9 January, proposes to “question the USSR’s status as liberator”, claiming that Molotov-Ribbentrop pact “sparked the war and a double totalitarian invasion of Poland”. Let me suggest to my Polish colleague to look deeper into the history of that time.


19.12.2019 - President Vladimir Putin replies to a BBC question during his annual press conference Moscow, 19 December 2019

I know what the interests of my country are. And whatever somebody might say about me, this has no importance whatsoever when compared to the fundamental tasks that Russia is interested in solving. But of course, we see, we hear, we understand and we take those views into consideration in our work.


18.12.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article Neighbours in Europe. Russia-EU: Thirty Years of Relations for Rossiyskaya Gazeta, December 18, 2019

Thirty years ago, on December 18, 1989, Brussels hosted the signing of the Agreement on Trade and Commercial and Economic Cooperation between the USSR and the European communities. This date became the point of departure for official relations between Russia as the successor state of the USSR and the European Union. Symbolically, the Agreement was signed slightly over a month after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that came down in history as a landmark signifying the end of the Cold War, a period, when the continent was divided into two opposing ideological blocs. The founders of the Russia-EU partnership knew that it would be impossible to erase the centuries-old divides on the continent unless a broad framework for cooperation was created in Europe. Both sides intended to make it mutually beneficial, long-term, and resistant to economic and political fluctuations.


06.12.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 26th OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, Bratislava, December 5, 2019

Mr Chairperson-in-Office, Mr Secretary General, Ladies and Gentlemen, First of all, allow me to thank Slovakia’s Chairmanship for its hospitality. Here in Bratislava, where Western and Eastern Europe meet, we are reminded that the purpose of our organisation is to facilitate the emergence of shared security through cooperation, as well as the removal of dividing lines and the growth of mutual trust. The goal adopted at the 2010 Astana summit of building a community of equal, comprehensive and indivisible security should remain our utmost priority. Today, CSTO foreign ministers adopted a statement to this effect, reaffirming their commitment to this objective.


29.11.2019 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s speech at the opening of the V Russian-British Business Forum in London, 27 November 2019

Ladies and gentlemen! I am pleased with the opportunity to deliver my first speech as Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom at the Russian-British Business Forum. Over the five years, the Forum has become a solid platform for open and direct dialogue and exchange of views, involving both business community and officials. The number of participants has been growing annually. Together, we have managed to create a constructive atmosphere of partnership.


28.11.2019 - Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov’s reply to a media question concerning the recent statement of the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff

Q: How would you comment on the statement made by the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nicholas Carter that the UK is in a state of cyber war with Russia? Has London raised this matter with Moscow? Has the British side provided any evidence? A.: This is not the first statement of this sort made by the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff, General Carter, and it certainly needs to be considered in the context of the large-scale anti-Russian propaganda campaign launched by the British government.


21.11.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Moscow, November 20, 2019

We have had very good talks with my Bahraini colleague and friend, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, and we have reached agreements on all the issues we discussed.


13.11.2019 - Article by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the media of the BRICS countries "BRICS Strategic Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth", November 12, 2019

On November 13–14, 2019, Brasilia will host the 11th BRICS Summit. In the run-up to this key event of the year for our group I would like to share Russia's vision of the BRICS strategic partnership. The current Brazilian BRICS Chairmanship managed to achieve serious progress in all main pillars of cooperation – political, economic and humanitarian. Russia supports its Brazilian friends in their efforts to improve the practical impact of our multifaceted interaction on the prosperity of our States and peoples.



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