18 February 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

25.09.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 22, 2017

Question: I want to thank you on behalf of the UN Correspondents Association for this news conference and the ability to talk with you within the framework of the UN General Assembly.

Mr Lavrov, the overwhelming majority of the leaders who have already spoken at the UN General Assembly expressed concern over North Korea’s nuclear activity, and US President Donald Trump has even used the UN pulpit to threaten North Korea. Pyongyang has promised to respond. It appears that neither the US nor the North Korean leaders are ready to accept the roadmap that has been proposed by Russia and China. What can the international community do in this situation? What step should be taken next? Does Russia have any new proposal on the settlement of this crisis?

Sergey Lavrov: Thank you for your kind words.

Regarding the Korean Peninsula problem, we have no new proposals, because we are sure that the potential of the Russian-Chinese roadmap, which has been distributed at the UN in July of this year, is far from exhausted. We have not heard any reasonable arguments in response to our proposals to start working on this problem. Neither have we heard about the reason why our Western partners, including the United States, cannot accept our plan. Let me just remind you, that the roadmap is largely similar to the “four no’s,” which US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson formulated a month ago. We are convinced that the UN Security Council should make broader use of these US views.

As for the exchange of threats, this is definitely not a good thing. Indeed, it is unacceptable both to look on silently at the North Korean nuclear missile manoeuvres and to launch a war on the Korean Peninsula. This is the essence of these threats, if they are translated into actions. Therefore, we must cool down the hot heads, so that they understand that we need to take a break and consider a contact. If somebody wants to mediate in this, I am all for it. Some neutral European countries were ready to offer their services as intermediaries in this case. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that if he got such a request from the UN Security Council, he would certainly try to implement it. So, there are plenty of those who want to try a political rather than a military scenario or sanctions on the Korean Peninsula. I would like to remind you about what I said at the UN General Assembly yesterday: All of the UN Security Council resolutions without exception contain, along with sanctions, also provisions on the need to resume talks. Our Western colleagues who refuse to work towards this end, violate the obligations, which they assumed when drafting these UN Security Council resolutions. Russia and China will continue to press ahead for a reasonable rather than emotional approach, which looks like kindergarten toddlers fighting each other and everybody seems unable to stop them.

Question: Mr Minister, you and Russian Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya have said that you hope to be able to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. Is Russia willing to discuss missiles, human rights and Syria within the JCPOA or some other format?

Sergey Lavrov: Russia is not the only country to speak about the need to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. All the European countries involved in the talks have said so, plus the overwhelming majority of UN member states. The JCPOA is a complete document that has been approved by a UN Security Council resolution, and changing it is like destroying all our previous achievements. Everyone knows this. If the United States has any concerns regarding Iran, or if anyone else has any concerns about anyone else, these concerns must be settled within the framework of the formats that are suited for this. We have a negotiating process on Syria, a missile regime that does not prohibit countries from having ballistic missiles, and we have the Human Rights Council for dealing with human rights problems. Comparing apples and oranges would be an unwise choice, especially on such complicated topics as Iran’s nuclear programme.




LATEST EVENTS

15.02.2018 - Embassy Comments on statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad

The statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad regarding Russia’s alleged responsibility for the NotPetya cyber-attack is, like many other similar accusations, not backed by any evidence. It is another example of irresponsible and hostile rhetoric of British officials towards Russia. The Embassy considers it as a part of the continuing campaign aimed at the stigmatisation of our country, that we have witnessed in the UK over the recent months.


15.02.2018 - The latest anti-Russian campaign in Western media (MFA comment)

We have noted a number of articles published by Western media in the latest campaign to denigrate Russia’s role in fighting terrorism in Syria. Here are just a few of the many examples: “Syria’s Idlib province pounded by Russian airstrikes, activists say” (The Washington Post, February 5); “Russia bombs Syria rebel strongholds after jet is shot down” (Newsweek, February 5); “Biggest airstrikes in a year hit Syria after rebels shoot down Russian jet” (The Guardian, February 6); “Devastating Russian airstrikes of retribution in Syria” (Deutsche Welle, February 5); “Russia launches an offensive after the jet is downed” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 5). These articles are obviously carbon-copies – their style and reasoning are strikingly similar. The misinformation comes down to allegations that the Russian Aerospace Forces are striking rebel strongholds in Idlib, killing civilians and damaging civilian infrastructure, including medical institutions. The Syrian Army is being groundlessly accused of using chemical weapons.


14.02.2018 - Embassy’s Press Officer on the chemical incidents in Syria

Q: Could you comment on the recent statements by a number of Western politicians and media claiming that Moscow and Damascus were responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in the course of the Syrian conflict? A: Russia is against any use of chemical weapons and is a strong supporter of chemical disarmament. In Syria we are in favour of conducting professional on-site investigations of all chemical incidents, something that has never been performed. Instead, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) relied on “evidence” provided by the self-styled activists and rescue organisations such as the White Helmets which are in fact colluding with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.


12.02.2018 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veterans

On 9-11 February 2018 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans Mr David SIMPSON and Mr George MOON


10.02.2018 - Embassy Press Officer on Boris Johnson’s comments on the humanitarian situation in Syria

Q: Would you please comment on the yesterday’s statement by the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the humanitarian situation in Syria? What is Russia’s position on this issue? A: The humanitarian situation in Syria remains predictably difficult. Russia continues to take efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both directly and through international organizations. As regards to the situation in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib as well as in Afrin, Hasakah, Raqqa, Rukban camp and other areas, we share concerns of the UN agencies in Syria and we have repeatedly called on all parties to stop the hostilities.


09.02.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a ceremony on the occasion of Diplomats’ Day, Moscow, February 8, 2018

Colleagues, friends, We are grateful to our guests and comrades for accepting our invitation. I have the honour to declare this ceremony devoted to Diplomats’ Day open. (Anthem of the Russian Federation) * * * I would like to again express our gratitude to all those who have joined the Foreign Ministry staff and veterans on this occasion, including our colleagues from the Presidential Executive Office, the Government Executive Office, the Russian Security Council, ministries, agencies and other offices with which we maintain close and fruitful cooperation. My special thanks go to Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.


09.02.2018 - MFA comment on the humanitarian situation in Syria

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains difficult. Given these circumstances, Russia continues to deploy multidimensional efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both by directly bringing in humanitarian supplies, and facilitating the work of international humanitarian bodies. In this context, we paid attention to a statement issued by the UN agencies in Syria released on February 6 regarding the humanitarian situation in a number of areas, including Afrin, Hasakah, Raqqa, Idlib, Rukban camp, and Eastern Ghouta, with a call for a month-long break in hostilities in order to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate wounded and sick people.


07.02.2018 - Shelling of the Russian trade mission building in Damascus

A 120-mm mortar shell hit the Russian trade mission building in Damascus (currently mothballed, but still under diplomatic immunity) on February 6 at approximately 4 pm local time. No casualties have been reported. The building was badly damaged. We strongly condemn this latest terrorist attack against the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation in Damascus, which is part of a string of recent crimes committed by terrorists against civilians in the Syrian capital.


05.02.2018 - MFA statement on New START

According to Article II of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, Russia and the United States were to meet the following aggregate limits on strategic arms by February 5, 2018: - 700 deployed ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; - 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; - 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. The Russian Federation has fully complied with its commitment to reduce its strategic offensive weapons.


02.02.2018 - Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov’s meeting with UK Foreign Office Political Director Karen Pierce

On February 2, the Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and Political Director of the Foreign Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Karen Pierce.



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