9 April 2020
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767 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     759 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 1 television channel for the documentary Antarctica: 200 Years of Peace, Moscow, February 2, 2020

Sergey Brilyov: Good afternoon, Mr Lavrov.

Sergey Lavrov: Good afternoon.

Sergey Brilyov: I don’t suppose you’ve been to Antarctica?

Sergey Lavrov: Not yet, unfortunately.

Sergey Brilyov: Let me tell you about it. I flew there from Chile. At the airport, I asked where border control is? They replied that there’s no need for it, because I wouldn’t be leaving Chile but would only be travelling to Chile’s Antarctic sector. Why didn’t the Soviet Union try to get a sector?

Sergey Lavrov: Nobody tried to get any sectors. Antarctica, which was discovered 200 years ago by the first Russian expedition of Faddey Bellinsgauzen and Mikhail Lazarev, is a continent where international relations, as it was decided after long disputes, are guided by the Antarctic Treaty signed 60 years ago. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty sets out the principles that regulate the activities of all countries in Antarctica. First of all, the contracting parties pledged to use Antarctica for peaceful purposes only, preserve its biological resources and prohibit all activities relating to Antarctic mineral resources, except for scientific research (the latter provision was confirmed by the contracting parties for at least 50 years at their meeting in Madrid in 1991). The treaty also bans any measures of a military nature, such as the establishment of military bases, the carrying out of military manoeuvres, as well as the testing of any type of weapons. There is also a provision on cooperation based on mutual respect and conducted in the interests of the whole of humankind.

Bellinsgauzen and Lazarev were the first to discover that Antarctica is a continent. British and American expeditions went there after them, but Russians were the first to discover that Antarctica is not an ice wall but a continent. Therefore, Antarctica does not belong to anyone.  It is true that last century a number of countries – Great Britain, Norway, Chile, Australia and New Zealand – made claims for a part of the continent and adjacent waters of the Southern Ocean, which are called “sectors.”

Sergey Brilyov: They marked triangles on the map.

Sergey Lavrov: That’s right, triangles. Back then, the Soviet Union and the United States made a joint statement on peremptory non-recognition of any claims and refusal to divide Antarctica into sectors in order to preserve the continent as the common heritage of the humankind where research projects are implemented to the benefit of all. That mutual agreement was sealed. There is a right to claim a part of Antarctica, but there is a huge distance between laying claim and getting it. Therefore, this issue is not on the agenda now.

Sergey Brilyov: It appears that Russia’s and the United States’ stance on Antarctica is one of the issues that they have complete unanimity on.

Sergey Lavrov: That is true – and this is not the only issue. Since its discovery, Antarctica has been a sort of honeypot, a continent that everyone sought to claim a part of. It even came to serious interstate disputes.  

Sergey Brilyov: There was even shooting.

Sergey Lavrov: There was. But ultimately everything was settled by peaceful means, and I think this experience should be used to settle today’s conflicts.

Sergey Brilyov: Antarctica was almost a reason for a recent war. I mean the Falklands (Malvinas) War waged for the islands located slightly north of Antarctica.

Sergey Lavrov: They are not part of Antarctica.

Sergey Brilyov: But overlooking it. How sure can we be that the Antarctic Treaty will remain in effect and the world will not descend into another armed conflict?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe no one wants to undermine the Treaty. The 43rd Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting will be held in May−June this year. It will also mark the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian explorers. There are no signs of putting the Treaty at risk. On the contrary, I believe that cooperation on the South Pole is a remarkable example of relations between countries that set their ideological differences aside to focus on research and a peaceful development of this shared heritage.

Sergey Brilyov: Can you tell me as a diplomat, not a researcher, why Russia has so many bases in Antarctica?

Sergey Lavrov: As a matter of fact, a scientific view is more important here. I doubt that diplomats would have made such a huge number of discoveries as our scientists. Take the discovery of a subglacial lake made at the end of last century. This lake was covered by a four-kilometre layer of ice and so had no contact with the Earth’s surface for millions of years. This unique discovery is helping us to learn increasingly more about the Earth and its origins. As for diplomacy, this offers us direct benefits because we can share experience, demonstrate the achievements made by our people and thereby strengthen Russia’s international standing. When we are doing well in the economy and science, it is easier for us to “make” foreign policy.

Sergey Brilyov: It is said that Antarctic stations are like mineral claims. Or is this a geopolitical fantasy?

Sergey Lavrov: Stations are nothing more than stations. We don’t need visas to fly to Antarctica. It is a unique part of the world. I believe that we should tread very carefully when it comes to initiatives on modifying the regime set out in the Antarctic Treaty.

Sergey Brilyov: I have a question for you as a canoer. Just to imagine that Bellinsgauzen and Lazarev set out in their sloops across the ocean into that ice region… Come to think of it, this is a heroic part of global history.

Sergey Lavrov: I am not a canoer. Rather I’m a rafter. A raft is more reliable than a canoe. Nevertheless, I cannot imagine how they travelled back then. By the way, our diplomats greatly contributed to organising that expedition. All our ambassadors and consuls general located along the expedition’s route were instructed to provide assistance, including food and equipment such as binoculars and spy glasses, as well as many other items. Of course, the fact that there were no major problems during the expedition – nobody died or got scurvy, as many had feared – is proof of the attention given to it by the state, including the diplomatic service, along the entire route.



07.04.2020 - President Vladimir Putin's message to Prime Minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson

Dear Prime Minister, Let me express my sincere support for you at this difficult moment. I am sure that your energy, optimism and sense of humour will help you defeat the illness. With all my heart, I wish you a speedy and full recovery. Sincerely yours, Vladimir Putin

23.03.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Saturday news show Vesti v Subbotu, Moscow, March 21, 2020

Question: For you, Sri Lanka is your youth. What did you feel when you came back here? We are now in the new Embassy building, while you worked in the old building. Still, what memories did it stir up from when you worked here? Sergey Lavrov: Of course, I mostly remember the old building where I worked for four years. I was an aide to Soviet Ambassador Rafik Nishanov, God bless him. We created a tight-knit group of MGIMO graduates and more experienced personnel, including first secretaries and councillors.

27.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the ceremony of signing a cooperation agreement between the Foreign Ministry, the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS) and the Federal Archive Agency (Rosarkhiv) on information coverage of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Moscow, February 26, 2020

We have just signed a cooperation agreement with the Federal Archive Agency and ITAR-TASS on covering the events that will be devoted to and are already being held to honour the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Our Foreign Ministry has established very close, collaborative and friendly relations with our colleagues – the Federal Archive Agency and ITAR-TASS. We are combining the capabilities of federal executive bodies and our media on a very topical theme.

21.02.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's welcoming words at the reception to honour the Russian Armed Forces

Excellences, Ladies and gentlemen, We have gathered today to honour the Russian Armed Forces. Our Army has seen many glorious victories. Those who liberated Europe and all humanity from fascism on the battlefields of the World War II are still among us. After that terrible war, 75 years ago, the leaders of the USSR, United Kingdom and United States agreed to create the United Nations Organisation designed to prevent such devastating tragedies.

19.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during the joint news conference following Russian-Italian talks between foreign and defence ministers in the two-plus-two format, Rome, February 18, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to express my gratitude for the hospitality we traditionally receive in Italy. I completely agree that the fourth joint meeting between the Russian and Italian foreign and defence ministers was held in a constructive manner. The last time we met in this format was in 2013. We find that resuming work in this format is timely and important.

18.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions following the 56th Munich Security Conference, Munich, February 17, 2020

The Munich Security Conference is over. You have seen all the speeches. Our media have already made assessments. I will be glad to answer your questions. Question: Did you discuss with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo President Donald Trump’s participation in the meeting of the UN Security Council permanent members proposed by Russia? Is the US position now clear? Did you discuss extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)? Did you manage to reach any agreement?

17.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during the 56th Munich Security Conference, Global Disorder – Other Opportunities for a New Agenda, Munich, February 15, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, This year marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in WWII. Sadly, there are attempts to brazenly distort history and to equate the liberators of Europe with Nazi murderers. These attempts will remain on the conscience of those behind them. No one and nothing can belittle the decisive role of the Red Army and the Soviet people in defeating Nazism. At the same time, we will always keep in our minds the spirit of Alliance during the War and the ability of the states to unite and fight the common threat regardless of ideological differences.

10.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to questions from Rossiyskaya Gazeta editorial office and its regional partners during a business breakfast, Moscow, February 10, 2020

Question: There are numerous reports in the media about preparations for the upcoming Defender-Europe 20 military exercise, due to take place this May in a number of Eastern European countries. This will be the largest US military exercise in the past 25 years. Given the considerable cooling in relations between Russia and NATO, are we witnessing the birth of a new Cold War?

06.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Prensa Latina News Agency, February 5, 2020

Question: What is your opinion of the new US punitive measures to toughen the embargo against Cuba that has been in place for almost 60 years? Sergey Lavrov: We can see that US attempts to reformat the Latin American region in line with its geopolitical interests aim to overthrow the “undesirable regimes” in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The archaic Monroe Doctrine serves as the ideological foundation. In the run-up to the presidential election, the White House continues to ratchet up sanctions against those states which preserve their national independence, sovereignty and identity. This openly anti-human policy runs counter to the generally accepted principles of international law, including the UN Charter.

03.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article titled “Russia and Indonesia: 70 years of fruitful cooperation” published in the Indonesian national newspaper Kompas, February 2, 2020

This year, Russia and Indonesia are celebrating the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Any significant date is always a good occasion both for summing up what has been achieved so far and for drafting plans for the future.

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