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883 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     875 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 article about the world amid the coronavirus pandemic for Chinese newspaper Global Times, Moscow, May 28, 2020

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus changed life on the planet virtually overnight. It also became a crush test for international relations, both at the level of individual countries and multilateral associations. The obvious consequences include an economic recession, a crisis of global governance and the growth of protectionist and isolationist sentiments. The pandemic has seriously limited humanitarian, cultural and tourist exchanges, as well as people to people contacts. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Of course, when we leave the crisis behind, which will certainly happen one day, we will need to make a comprehensive analysis of the world’s ability to withstand such challenges and find common responses to them. However, we believe that some conclusions can be made already now.

Large-scale epidemics are nothing new in human history; they have happened before. But what makes the ongoing pandemic different is that it is taking place amid an unprecedented interdependence of people, countries and entire continents. Achievements in the fields of technology, information and transport have globalised people intellectually and even physically, which means that the majority of new challenges eventually become our common problems or at least acquire an international dimension. We warned long ago about the danger of underestimating the cross-border nature of numerous threats, from terrorism to cybercrime. We also said that nobody will be able to weather the storm in a safe haven, hide behind moats and fences, or attempt to settle one’s problems at the expense of others. The virus effect has proved this convincingly. The pandemic is also a lesson in humility: all countries and peoples are equal before tragedy, regardless of geography, wealth or political ambitions. The coronavirus crisis has peeled away everything that is artificial and contrived, casting a bright light on the enduring value of human lives.

Far from everyone turned out to be ready for the trial of the pandemic. Even now, when the global challenge should have brought us together and forced us to set our controversies aside at least for a while, we can see negative examples of predatory attitudes.  Some people have yielded to the temptation to act selfishly, believing that it’s every man for himself. Others have used the situation to play the monopolist strategy, advocating their mercenary interests and settling scores with their geopolitical rivals. In this rich medium, the virus is accelerating the growth of negative trends, sharpening contradictions and differences, and promoting unhealthy rivalry.

In other words, the unavoidable natural consequences of the pandemic are being complemented with the man-made effects created by the inability of humankind, or rather a certain part of it, to abandon the friend-foe mentality even when facing a shared adversity. This is regrettable, because it takes unprecedented solidarity and the pooling of efforts and resources to overcome the objective and obvious consequences of COVID-19.

We have to acknowledge that the pandemic has revealed a lack of humanity in some cases. It could be explained by people’s confusion in the face of a spreading threat. But it seems that this deficit is deeper and results from, as I already said, the untreatable selfishness of some countries and their ruling elites. We are witnessing that, instead of consolidating the efforts and aspiring to mutual understanding, those who are used to declaring – or declaiming – their moral leadership and rich democratic traditions, are abandoning the rules of decorum and ethical restrictions and beginning to follow the law of the jungle. For instance, there are attempts to pin the blame for the spread of the infection on China, or sketchy speculations about Russia’s assistance to some countries provided at the request of their governments. It even came to absurd accusations against my country of trying to use the humanitarian and medical assistance to “increase its geopolitical influence,” or humiliating bans – in violation of the basic diplomatic norms – on asking Russia for medical and humanitarian aid regardless of the severity of the situation. Apparently, the fabled solidarity of the Euro-Atlantic format is more important than the lives and health of tens of thousands of people.

What, if not the politisation of humanitarian issues and the desire to use the pandemic to punish the undesirable governments, is the reason for the reluctance of some Western countries that talk a lot about the need to adhere to human rights, refrain from unilateral economic restrictions against developing countries, at least until the global epidemiological situation normalises? Indeed, according to the UN assessment, such sanctions limit people’s ability to use their social and economic rights and seriously impede their efforts to protect their health, striking a blow at the most vulnerable groups.

Russia stands firm against such inhumane practices that are unacceptable during global cataclysms. During the emergency summit of the Group of Twenty on March 26, President Vladimir Putin voiced the initiative to create “green corridors” free of trade wars and sanctions for mutual deliveries of medicines, foods, equipment and technologies. We welcomed and supported the statement by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who urged the parties to regional armed conflicts to promptly stop combat operations and introduce a ceasefire. Of course, any ceasefire should not be used to exempt terrorist groups that are considered as such by the UN Security Council from responsibility.

The attempts to use the current situation to undermine the basic principles of the UN are extremely dangerous. Its agencies must remain the main coordination mechanisms of multilateral cooperation in the interests of an efficient solution for the problems common for the entire humankind. In this regard, we are deeply concerned about the steps to defame the World Health Organisation, which, as most countries agree, has been on the frontline in the war against the coronavirus since the first days of the pandemic, helping all countries to take in the rapidly changing epidemiological situation and pick the best way to respond to the threat. Undoubtedly, the WHO, like any other multilateral agency, should improve its activity and adapt to the new conditions. But the solution is not to destroy the organisation, but to support a constructive dialogue of all of its member states and develop common professional responses to emerging challenges.


To be continued...



22.07.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, Moscow, July 21, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif and I have held talks. We appreciate the fact that this is his second visit to Moscow this month amid the known problems that the coronavirus infection is creating for diplomacy. Prior to our talks, the minister conveyed a message from President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. The message was transmitted during a telephone conversation, and then we held talks at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Mansion.

14.07.2020 - Foreign Ministry statement on the fifth anniversary of concluding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

Five years ago, on July 14, 2015, the foreign ministers of Great Britain, Germany, Iran, China, Russia, France and the United States, with the participation of the EU, concluded settlement agreements for the Iranian nuclear programme that were unique in their scope and reach. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action driven by the common political will of the countries participating in its development and reinforced by UNSC Resolution 2231 was a major achievement of multilateral diplomacy. It showed the benefits and effectiveness of the decisions made during the talks that prevailed over approaches based on threats, pressure and brute force.

09.07.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a news conference following political consultations between the foreign ministers of Russia and three African Union countries (South Africa, Egypt and the Congo) via videoconference, Moscow, July 8, 2020

Colleagues, Today, we held the first political consultation meeting at the foreign minister level between Russia and three members of the African Union. This mechanism was established after the first Russia-Africa Summit held in Sochi last October. These countries are the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are the former, current and next presidents of the African Union.

24.06.2020 - President Vladimir Putin's speech at the military parade marking 75th anniversary of Great Victory, 24 June 2020

People of Russia, Our dear veterans, Foreign guests, Soldiers and sailors, sergeants, warrant officers and ensigns, Officers, generals and admirals, I wish you all the best on the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. A victory that determined the future of the planet for decades to come and went down in history as the grandest in its scale, significance and moral value. This year, the traditional Victory Day celebrations are being held in Russia on June 24. Exactly 75 years ago, the legendary victors paraded right here, along the Kremlin wall, to commemorate the end of the Great Patriotic War. That parade went down in history as a triumph of unprecedented scale, the triumph of good over evil, of peace over war, and life over death.

19.06.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei, Minsk, June 19, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to our Belarusian friends for the warm welcome accorded to our delegation.

18.06.2020 - Article by President of Russia Vladimir Putin '75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future'

75 years have passed since the end of the Great Patriotic War. Several generations have grown up over the years. The political map of the planet has changed. The Soviet Union that claimed an epic, crushing victory over Nazism and saved the entire world is gone. Besides, the events of that war have long become a distant memory, even for its participants. So why does Russia celebrate the 9th of May as the biggest holiday? Why does life almost come to a halt on June 22? And why does one feel a lump rise in their throat? They usually say that the war has left a deep imprint on every family's history. Behind these words, there are fates of millions of people, their sufferings and the pain of loss. Behind these words, there is also the pride, the truth and the memory.

18.06.2020 - Article co-authored by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Serbian Kurir on June 18, 2020

Public discussions about possible outcomes of the Kosovo knot have become noticeably livelier recently. The United States and the EU are striving to make themselves an indispensable part of the settlement and are competing for the leading role in this process. In addition, as it happened before, they often disregard the opinions of other stakeholders, which fact calls into question the very possibility of finding a fair solution. Looking back into the recent past and analysing the regrettable consequences of external interference in the region’s affairs is something that must be done if we want to avoid making more mistakes. We also believe it is important to provide a general assessment of the current state of affairs and to outline our fundamental approaches to the Kosovo settlement.

17.06.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on US Officials’ Statements on Russia's manipulation of the International Criminal Court

Last week, Washington announced more unilateral sanctions. Unfortunately, this has already become common practice for the United States. These sanctions are directed at an unusual target - not one of the many countries that are out of US favour, but the International Criminal Court and its staff. This event was the subject of a joint briefing by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defence, the Attorney General and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

02.06.2020 - Appeal by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to the parliaments of foreign States and the peoples of the world with regard to the 75th Anniversary of the Victory over Nazism

Appeal by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to the parliaments of foreign States and the peoples of the world with regard to the 75th Anniversary of the Victory over Nazism

27.05.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the joint news conference with CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas following the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council videoconference, Moscow, May 26, 2020

We have held a CSTO Foreign Ministers Council meeting via videoconference. Russia is chairing the CSTO this year. Considering the difficult situation caused by the coronavirus infection, we approached the preparations and holding of this meeting with certain precautions.

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