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updated 12:00 PM UTC, Mar 9, 2017

Full text of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 23rd meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council, Hamburg, December 8, 2016

открытие СМИД ОБСЕ

 

Mr Chairperson-in-Office,

Mr Secretary General,

Ms President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Colleagues,

In the past year, the situation in and around Europe has remained unstable. The foundations of military-political security have continued to be eroded rather than strengthened. An increasing number of prerequisites for an arms race have appeared. Terrorist acts have been committed more than once. Regional conflicts have not subsided. Diplomacy and economic ties have been replaced with increasingly gross rhetoric, propaganda and unilateral sanctions. Is this the Europe we want to see?

We have been talking about this state of affairs for several years now. The problem is that the Euro-Atlantic Region has not yet developed a common vision of equal and indivisible security. The euphoria that the West experienced after the end of the Cold War did not allow the sides to develop an open political process and build a common security community.

Instead of removing division lines, a choice was made in favour of a closed NATO-centric system. NATO adopted a course towards moving its borders, forces and military infrastructure eastward and changing the military balance in its favour. The NATO leaders renounced professional dialogue with Russia and the CSTO on drafting collective measures to counter real rather than mythical threats. As a result, the European space broke into separate zones with different levels of security guarantees. Tough security based on confidence-building and arms control measures found itself in deep systemic crisis.

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Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In the light of today’s consideration of a draft resolution on Syria by the UN Security Council, we are compelled to express bewilderment and indignation at Paris and London’s ongoing propaganda campaign in connection with their alleged concern over the continued fighting in eastern Aleppo, the safety of civilians and the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid.

Our “concerned” French and British colleagues surely know that Aleppo residents are already receiving such aid – not just on paper but in fact – from Russia, through the Defence Ministry, the Hmeymim Centre for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides and the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

Increased calls from a number of Western capitals to stop the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Aleppo look more like a last, desperate attempt to exculpate and save backed by them terrorists and extremists who are headed for defeat, i.e.  those who will stop at nothing to achieve their nefarious ends. It is they who continue to use civilians as human shields, and bombard and mine civilian infrastructure and humanitarian corridors.

On December 5, as a result of a direct hit by a terrorist mine at the emergency department of the Russian mobile military hospital in Aleppo, a Russian female medic was killed. Two other medical workers were seriously injured, and one of them later died. Local residents who had come to see a doctor were also injured.

However, Western capitals have not condemned this incident. We call on our partners to abandon their politicised approach and join the efforts to suppress the terrorist threat in Syria and search for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, instead of engaging in destructive emotional reactions through the media.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Moscow, December 1, 2016

Лавров

 

Question: In your opinion, will Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States turn a new page in the dialogue between Moscow and Washington? What kind of relations does Russia want to build with the US? Did Moscow help Donald Trump become president, as representatives of the Democratic Party allege?

Sergey Lavrov: If you allow me, I would like to begin with the last part of your question. Those who “helped” Donald Trump become president were the US citizens who voted for him on November 8. As President Vladimir Putin has said on a number of occasions, Russia has never sought to influence the election campaign, believing it to be an internal affair for the US. If anybody tried to interfere with the elections, it was the allies of the US. Just read what many European leaders said and wrote about Donald Trump during the campaign.

As for far-fetched stories about “Russian hackers” and other accusations against us related to the election, I am sick and tired of them. It is quite revealing that those who made insinuations of this kind and contributed to whipping up anti-Russian hysteria in the US in the run-up to the election have now sewed up their mouths. No evidence of interference in the electoral process was ever produced in the US or to the international community. This proves, yet again, that this whole story is more of a myth designed to serve momentary political objectives, rather than something real.

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Article by Sergey V. Lavrov APEC: Genuine Collectivism and Effective Connectivity

On 19–20 November 2016, Lima will host regular meeting of the Asia‑Pacific Economic Cooperation. 21 countries’ leaders will gather in order to discuss pressing global and regional economic issues and chart future tasks.

The Summit will take place against the background of global political and economic turbulence. The ongoing shaping of new polycentric world order is accompanied by growing instability. There are increasing risks posed by terrorism and extremism, regional conflicts and migration crisis. "Information wars" are incited in order to undermine sovereign states. Some countries pursue the same nefarious purpose by resorting increasingly often to illegal unilateral trade and financial sanctions challenging the exclusive prerogative of the United Nations Security Council.

All of this has seriously hampered the efforts to finally overcome the crisis and get the world economy back on track towards steady and balanced growth. It has affected investment, global GDP growth rate and international trade.

In the Asia‑Pacific, the effects of these negative tendencies have been mitigated by major technological and financial potential that has enabled the region to maintain its leading positions in world affairs. However, it is evident that the growing challenges will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the prospects of long-term growth in the region.

As a Eurasian power and an inalienable part of the Asia-Pacific region in terms of geography, history, politics, and economy, Russia is interested in ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in the entire region. Constructive involvement in the system of dynamic economic links therein is an objective prerequisite to successful fulfillment of our own tasks, particularly those of accelerated development of the Russian Far East, including via participation in regional integration processes.

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Russian Foreign Ministry Statement on the intention not to become a party to the Rome Statute of ICC

On November 16, the President of the Russian Federation signed the Decree «On the intention not to become a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court». The notification will be delivered to the Depository shortly.

Russia has been consistently advocating prosecuting those responsible for the most serious international crimes. Our country was at the origins of the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, participated in the development of the basic documents on the fight against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. These were the reasons why Russia voted for the adoption of the Rome Statute and signed it on September 13, 2000.

The ICC as the first permanent body of international criminal justice inspired high hopes of the international community in the fight against impunity in the context of common efforts to maintain international peace and security, to settle ongoing conflicts and to prevent new tensions.

Unfortunately the Court failed to meet the expectations to become a truly independent, authoritative international tribunal. The work of the Court is characterized in a principled way as ineffective and one-sided in different fora, including the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is worth noting that during the 14 years of the Court's work it passed only four sentences having spent over a billion dollars.

In this regard the demarche of the African Union which has decided to develop measures on a coordinated withdrawal of African States from the Rome Statute is understandable. Some of these States are already conducting such procedures.

The Russian Federation cannot be indifferent to the Court's attitude vis-a-vis the situation of August 2008. The Saakashvili regime's attack on peaceful Tshinval, the assassination of the Russian peacekeepers resulted in the Court's accusations against South-ossetian militia and Russian soldiers. Eventual investigation of actions and orders of Georgian officials was left to the discretion of the Georgian justice and remains outside of the focus of the ICC Prosecutor's office attention. This development speaks for itself. We can hardly trust the ICC in such a situation.

The decision of the Russian Federation not to become a party to the Rome Statute (to withdraw its signature from the Statute) entails legal consequences provided for by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969.

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