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1539 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1531 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

29.12.2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a meeting of the of the United Russia Commission on International Cooperation and Support for Compatriots Living Abroad, Moscow, December 28, 2021

Friends, colleagues,

I am delighted to welcome all of you to the commission’s first meeting. Established under President Vladimir Putin’s instructions, the commission’s main purpose is to support the Russian Federation in carrying out its foreign policy, primarily on foreign policy matters set forth in United Russia’s People’s Programme. This party is proactive on the international front. Over the past twelve months it has taken part in forums, including via videoconference, with parties from the SCO, BRICS, ASEAN, as well as African and Latin American countries. The ‘Global Challenges of the XXI Century: Interparty Dimension’ international videoconference is a recent example. We strongly believe that meetings of this kind help build trust and promote people-to-people ties. For this reason, they deserve our full support. We proceed from the premise that United Russia will carry on with this activity in 2022. We are looking forward to it. In June 2022, Sakhalin is scheduled to host a major international interparty environmental forum. We will do everything we can to make sure that it is held at the highest level. We are ready to assist the party in organising this major event by accommodating its requests.

We agreed to make the commission’s work as transparent as possible, as well as inclusive, and to engage with other parliamentary groups represented in the State Duma of the Russian Federation with their expertise. It is essential that we find a niche for ourselves to avoid any overlap with the work of the corresponding committees in the Russian parliament.

I am certain that we must reinforce existing national consensus and inject more harmony into the efforts by various political forces and official diplomacy for better carrying out Russia’s foreign policy.

I will not elaborate too much on world affairs in their current state. President Vladimir Putin has talked about this at length many times, including at the Foreign Ministry Collegium meeting, as well as at the expanded Defence Ministry Board meeting and during his news conference. Today, we are focusing our efforts on achieving maximum efficiency in asserting this policy line, standing up for our interests and rejecting unilateral concessions that are not rooted in the balance of interests. This is the spirit that guides us when preparing for negotiations, primarily with the United States.

Our goal is to create the best possible external conditions for national development while ensuring the security of our country and improving the living standards of our people. This is fixed in the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the adopted amendments that have strengthened the desire to uphold national sovereignty. The same goals were described in more detail in the recently adopted National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation. Beginning next year, we must submit a new version of the Foreign Policy Concept to the President of Russia. This will definitely be reflected in it. We are striving to consider the inter-party dimension of foreign policy activities in this document as well.

We are trying to create the biggest international response to our work. We have many associates: the CIS countries, the CSTO, EAEU, SCO, BRICS, and many other countries that are not part of these associations. When we look at the calendar of foreign meetings with Russian leaders, it becomes obvious that all talk of Russia’s isolation is the work of the devil. Quite the contrary, our approaches are becoming increasingly popular, especially now that our Western colleagues are not just forgetting about international law but are deliberately showing little respect for it. They are making exclusive references to some “rules-based world order.” They are writing these rules themselves in a narrow circle, deliberately avoiding universal formats where they will have to come to terms with independent countries like Russia or China, to name two.

I would like to mention the need to ensure the rights of our compatriots living abroad, protect their interests and preserve pan-Russia cultural identity. These tasks are fixed in the adopted amendments to the Russian Constitution. President of Russia Vladimir Putin spoke about them at the Foreign Ministry’s expanded Collegium last November. We must be striving to further unite the multi-ethnic, multi-faith Russian world and ensure the development of ties between historical, primordial Russia and our diasporas. I have spoken about this with Mr Andrei Turchak. This must be an important independent area of the commission’s work.

The drafting of a federal law on migration is nearing completion under the plan of measures to implement the Russian State Migration Policy Concept for 2019-2024. Importantly, this document should facilitate as much as possible the terms and procedures for the return of our compatriots to Russia for permanent residence. We should give priority to attracting highly qualified specialists, researchers and promising young people, without any discrimination.

It is time to update the criteria for selecting potential settlers in regional programmes. The governors should exercise personal control over the activities of the bodies authorised to make a decision on accepting new residents. It is necessary to rule out unjustified denials. I believe it is possible to review the possibility of expanding the list of regions for priority settlement. It is particularly urgent to attract our people and potential Russian citizens to districts in eastern Siberia.

Another federal law, On Citizenship in the Russian Federation, is in the works, and we hope it will include our compatriots’ requests that were expressed at the 7th World Congress of Compatriots in October 2021, among other venues.

When the work on draft laws on migration, compatriots and citizenship was underway, the Foreign Ministry and other federal executive bodies spoke in favour of meeting the goals in the state migration policy concept, primarily in terms of simplifying the requirements for citizenship for our compatriots and children born in marriages of Russian citizens with foreign nationals. A number of these ideas and proposals found their way into the draft laws, others, including a hot button issue such as repatriation of the Russians with roots in the Soviet Union, as well as descendants of residents of the Russian Empire, need to be finalised. This issue was reviewed by the State Duma, the Government, and the Presidential Executive Office.

In conjunction with core members of Russian communities abroad, we continue to improve the organisational structure of the compatriot movement, which the World Congress and the World Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots are part of, and which also includes country and regional coordination councils. This is a fairly ramified network which helps organise support for our compatriots abroad rather effectively.

We would also like to make wider use of party diplomacy. Our commission is quite capable of working out specific proposals and approaches. It is also important to get involved in implementing measures to support the Russian language and Russian culture, to preserve the historical truth, including about the Great Patriotic War - World War II, and to counter Russophobia. These are pressing items on the international agenda that are being tackled by official diplomacy and foreign policy agencies, but partisan support with the involvement of other parliamentary groups would help.

There are ways to rejuvenate activities designed to attract our compatriots and foreign students to come to study at Russian universities. Russian education is in high demand. It is important to build this trend up so that our position worldwide can see an additional boost. Our commission will see what it can do to provide financial help to foreign students coming to study at Russian universities, including refunds for travel and accommodation expenses. Most countries are not eligible, though.

The best achievements in culture, art, education, and science should be promoted abroad, and tourist relations should be expanded as well. All of that affects the Russian Federation’s foreign policy positions. Engaging with Russian-speaking youth and foreign citizens is important. Of course, to do so, we need to constantly update our methods and use information and communication technology. The party has a proven track record of working in this sphere, which I think can be put to good use.

Our commission’s goals are quite ambitious. I am confident that the experience of partisan activities and international contacts that the party has gained and is widely using are valuable assets, and we will fulfill the instructions and goals that President Vladimir Putin has set for our team.

 

https://mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/1792565/?lang=en#sel=1:1:yGy,3:1:yyy




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