14 December 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

25.09.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Itogi Nedeli for the NTV network, Moscow, September 24, 2017

Question: It looked as if it was a difficult week for the UN General Assembly, what with some delegations walking out and others joining the debate and making statements. It was probably part of the diplomatic game. What is your assessment of these developments?

Sergey Lavrov: This is inevitable, because heads of state and ministers attend the opening session of the UN General Assembly and the General Debate. It is mostly a week of bilateral contact and, of course, remarks delivered at the General Assembly, where all countries present their approaches to current international issues. A huge number of side events are held parallel with the GA session, and this could be even more important. These include bilateral trust-based talks on delicate issues, during which the sides sometimes find something that they will be able to use in their work later. Also, a great many multilateral events are held. In my case, I have attended some 70 meetings, including with the foreign ministers of the CSTO, SCO, CELAC and many other countries, plus a meeting of the five permanent Security Council members with the UN Secretary-General.

It [the General Assembly] is a very important international event, because it allows you to meet with nearly all state leaders in one place within a matter of one week.

Question: The Americans announced before the GA session that US President Donald Trump would deliver a deeply philosophical speech about the world order and the need to reform the UN, but as I see it, in the end he called for making America great again, because the United States pays too much to the UN and gets too little in return, and that all countries must fend for themselves. He meant that if the United States pays so much, it has more rights to dictate its will to others. What is our opinion on this matter? It appears that we have our own view on what the UN should be like.

Sergey Lavrov: The UN should be what its member states decide it should be like following the talks that all of them attend. It should be reflected in the decisions that they take as the result of these talks.

As for the principles of the [Political] Declaration for UN Reform, which the American delegation has distributed and opened for signature by UN member states, the majority of them are indisputable: the UN should be more effective and efficient, it must deliver on its mandate, reduce mandate duplication and overlap, and strengthen its budget functions. But when Russia and some other UN member states proposed discussing some phrases, we were told that the declaration is not for discussion and that we must sign it as it is. Of course, Russia, China and France could not accept this approach.

Many countries have signed this declaration, but this has not made it a UN document. It is true that the event was held at the UN headquarters, but it is not connected in any way to the bodies that were created under the UN Charter. For the UN Secretariat to accept these recommendations and principles as the basis of its operation, as Washington wants it to do, the Secretariat must be mandated to do so by the Security Council or the General Assembly and ECOSOC. This is all regarding the status of such declarations. However, we are glad that the Trump administration has taken an interest in the UN. It would be much worse if it ignored the organisation.

That the UN is a bit overweight is old news, but any serious reform calls for caution, because the UN’s “corpulence” is due to the fact that it has 193 member states. Each member state, even if it only has a population of 10,000 or 15,000 people (there are such countries, in particular, in the South Pacific), wants to take part in the organisation’s work, in particular, to have its representative at the UN Secretariat. I believe that this is a perfectly understandable desire. Therefore, we must be very careful when cutting away the fat so that we do not damage the living UN organism.




LATEST EVENTS

11.12.2017 - Сharity dinner in honor of the Arctic Convoys Veterans on the occasion of St Andrews Day

On 7 December Rotary Club of Motherwell and Wishaw host a charity dinner on the occasion of St Andrews Day with the participation of the Arctic Convoys veterans.


11.12.2017 - President Putin visited Khmeimim Air Base in Syria

December 11, 2017, 13:00, Syria At the air base, Vladimir Putin was met by President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad, Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu and Commander of the Russian military group Sergei Surovikin. The Commander-in-Chief ordered the withdrawal of the Russian military group from Syria back to their permanent bases.


11.12.2017 - Russian President Vladimir Putin met President of Syria Bashar al-Assad

President Putin met with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad while on a tour of the Russian airbase at Khmeimim. The two leaders discussed the outcome of the counterterrorism operations in Syria.


09.12.2017 - Press release on First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov’s consultations with British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan

On December 8, First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov had consultations in Moscow with British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan.


08.12.2017 - Moscow Exchange Forum in London

On 6-7 December 2017 the Moscow Exchange held an Annual Business Forum in London, that marked its 25th anniversary and highlighted investment opportunities in Russia. The event gathered more than 400 top managers and high-ranking representatives of European, American and Asian banks, investment funds, service sector companies and professional associations.


05.12.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s message of greetings to organisers and participants in the 7th international forum The Arctic: Present and Future

Let me cordially welcome the organisers and participants to the 7th international forum The Arctic: Present and Future. Your Forum has confidently asserted itself as an authoritative venue for discussing the current issues on the Arctic agenda. The traditional representative composition of the participants makes it possible to consider every aspect of a broad range of issues related to ensuring the Arctic’s sustainable development and to providing detailed recommendations on how to enhance the effectiveness of measures for this purpose, including development of international cooperation.


04.12.2017 - Lecture at St Andrews University

On 4th December 2017 Consul General of Russia in Edinburgh Andrey A.Pritsepov gave a lecture to students studying international relations at the St Andrews University. The talk dedicated to «Post-Western world: a challenge and an opportunity» was met with interest by the audience.


01.12.2017 - Russian Ambassador visits Scotland

During a working visit to Scotland, the Ambassador of Russia to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko read an open lecture at the University of Edinburgh on the topic "Russia's Foreign Policy" and took part in the Q&A session.


30.11.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Libero, Italy

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Libero, Italy, published on November 30, 2017


29.11.2017 - Trade between Russia and the United Kingdom could double in the next five years

London, 29 November 2017 - The Third Russian-British Business Forum was held in London on 28-29 November, organised by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Trade Delegation and Embassy of the Russian Federation in the UK with the support of Russian and international partners to discuss the development of trade and investment relations between the two countries. Forum participants included His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, State Secretary-Deputy Minister for Economic Development of the Russian Federation Oleg Fomichev, President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights Boris Titov, representatives of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, representatives of specialized authorities and business associations and leaders of Russian and British companies.



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