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

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

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.

An overwhelming majority of members of the international community condemn and reject lifting the waiver on Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the ban on chartered and regular flights to all Cuban airports, except the Havana Airport, restrictions against transport companies cooperating with the island, numerous visa and financial restrictions and the campaign against Cuban doctors. The November 7, 2019 vote on the anti-blockade resolution at the UN General Assembly vividly confirms this.

I repeat: Washington’s sanctions against Havana prove that, in an effort to stifle the Cuban economy, the United States deliberately violates human rights, and ordinary people always suffer, above all.

We see the introduction of additional restrictive measures as a manifestation of Washington’s inability to break the will of the Cuban nation and to impose its own opinion and values. We emphatically reject these steps and stand in solidarity with our Cuban friends. We insistently call for the complete repeal of the financial and economic embargo, so as to ensure the country’s full-fledged socioeconomic development, implement the principle of the sovereign equality of states and guarantee the legitimate rights of the Cuban nation.

Question: Cuba and Russia are marking 60 years since resuming diplomatic relations. What can you tell us about the current state of political, economic and cultural cooperation between our countries in the run-up to the anniversary?

Sergey Lavrov: This year on May 8, we are marking the 60th anniversary of resuming diplomatic relations. This is an impressive span of time. We have achieved significant progress over these 60 years.

Today, Cuba is Russia’s priority partner in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our multidimensional collaboration, based on strong traditions of friendship and cooperation, and objective commonality of interests, is looking towards the future. Our mutual determination for strengthening the Russian-Cuban strategic partnership has been confirmed in the course of regular high-level and top-level contacts.

The history of our bilateral relations is inseparable from the name of Fidel Castro, the leader and creator of the Cuban Revolution, and genuine leader of the persevering and tenacious people of Freedom Island. His was a personality of global scale, without exaggeration. We specifically developed an itinerary that will honour the Comandante’s memory, including a visit to Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where other fighters for Cuba’s independence also rest in peace. This has great significance for me because in the eyes of many generations of Russians Fidel remains an example of true service to one’s country and people.

It is symbolic that President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez will visit Russia to attend the events marking the 75th anniversary of defeating Nazism. We see this as further confirmation of the brotherly ties connecting our nations.

Our bilateral and practical cooperation has many dimensions. Along with our Cuban friends, we continue to build a model for long-term mutually beneficial cooperation that is not affected by external conditions and focuses, among other things, on ensuring Cuba’s energy and food security. We appreciate the fact that Cuba’s leaders have assigned Russia a special role in modernising Cuba’s national economy and upgrading the country’s socioeconomic development model. 

This direction was once again confirmed during the 17th meeting of the Russia-Cuba Intergovernmental Commission in September 2019 in Moscow. We are working on large joint projects in energy and metal production, transport infrastructure, developing IT, communications and space technologies, biopharmaceutics and biotechnology. Russia supplies railway and vehicle equipment. We are building a maintenance base for this as well.

Russia and Cuba are expanding cultural and humanitarian links, including education exchanges. Our country is a regular participant in the Havana International Book Fair, theatre and film festivals. Every alternate year Moscow and Havana host the weeks of Cuban and Russian cinema, respectively.

Every year, 100 Cuban students come to Russia to learn the Russian language, study Russian literature, and many other things. Cuba has the Pushkin Institute, a Russian language learning and testing centre at the University of Havana. Russian is taught as an optional class in two secondary schools in Havana.

Together, we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Cuban capital. Havana also hosted St Petersburg Days. The golden dome of the National Capitol in Havana is once again showcasing its shining beauty after a renovation by Russian experts. 

Russia and Cuba closely coordinate foreign policies. This coordination is based on adherence to the unshakable principles of international law, including respect for sovereign equality between states and non-intervention in their internal affairs.

We are optimistic about the future of Russian-Cuban relations which we value very much. We know that our Cuban friends approach these relations in a similar fashion.

Question: Russia believes the development of integration processes in Latin America to be very important. However, recently we have seen a trend towards restraining the activities or even eliminating such regional organisations as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). What do you think about this?

Sergey Lavrov: I agree that today the integration processes in Latin America are in a difficult phase. We can see a certain imbalance in regional integration building, not without interference from the outside. This is also true for UNASUR, because some of its members left to establish an alternative organisation, the Forum for the Progress and Development of South America (PROSUR). We proceed from the fact that the Latin Americans must be the ones to choose the most suitable forms of regional cooperation.

Russia is ready to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with all regional integration organisations. We have always spoken in favour of a united and politically and economically stable Latin America: this is the only way for the region to become a pillar of the emerging multipolar world. In addition, the high degree of unity and mutual understanding, and the ability to find collective answers to the topical challenges we face today have always distinguished Latin Americans.

We see the potential of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which we regard as a unique regional platform promoting a unifying agenda based on non-confrontation. We hope that with the help of Mexico, which is chairing CELAC, the Latin Americans will be able to overcome their internal differences based on the working programme adopted in Mexico City in January 2020. After CELAC overcomes these differences, we would be able to resume the Russia – CELAC dialogue mechanisms in a way that would suit our partners.

We also see good opportunities to expand cooperation with our regional partners in such areas as the aerospace sector, natural disaster prevention and relief (using the regional Russian-Cuban fire rescue centre located in Havana) and the establishment of a regional antimicrobial monitoring system (involving Mechnikov SA, the Russia-Nicaragua Biotechnology Institute Project), which are priorities for CELAC.

 

To be continued...




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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?


03.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 1 television channel for the documentary Antarctica: 200 Years of Peace, Moscow, February 2, 2020

Sergey Lavrov: 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.


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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