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updated 9:43 AM UTC, Dec 29, 2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions following the conclusion of nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran


The marathon negotiations conducted by the P5+1 international mediators and Iran for many years have come to an end. The talks were coordinated by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, who, together with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, is now giving a presentation on the results of their work for the journalists and audiences around the world.

I will briefly touch on the most important points. First, the parties agreed a joint comprehensive action plan consisting of the main document and five technical annexes, as well as a draft UN Security Council resolution that all the participants in the talks will soon submit, as co-authors, to the UN Security Council to be considered and voted on. We hope that the draft will be unanimously approved.

Throughout all these years we have actively participated in the negotiation process. Importantly, three years ago, the parties managed to break the impasse in negotiations by relying on the concept of gradualism and reciprocity proposed by Russian experts, whereby every step taken by Iran in order to meet the demands of the international community was matched by steps from the P5+1 and the United Nations to ease sanctions until all the restrictions are finally lifted.

The principle of gradualism and reciprocity played an important role in all phases of our work. The final agreement is fully consistent with the target set out in Russia's foreign policy concept, which is to achieve recognition of Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear programme, including the right to enrich uranium under strict IAEA supervision, to clarify all outstanding issues and to lift all remaining sanctions. This approach is enshrined in the adopted documents, which map out the sequence of actions that would eventually lead to the outcome that we all agreed upon.

It is important that the IAEA has broad verification mechanisms with regard to the implementation of Iran’s commitments related to its nuclear programme. Russia will actively participate in all stages of the implementation of this agreement. To do so, a joint commission is being created, which will represent all the participants of the negotiations, including the P5+1 mediators, Iran, and the European Union. This commission will address all issues and claims raised by any party with regard to the other parties’ compliance with their commitments.

Importantly, Russia will actively participate in practical activities to implement the agreements. This concerns two issues that are directly referred to in the documents: exporting low-enriched uranium from Iran to Russia in exchange for raw uranium supplies and converting the former Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant into a facility to produce stable isotopes for medical and industrial needs.

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Vladimir Putin's and Russian Foreign Ministry statements following successful completion of negotiations between P5+1 and Tehran on Iranian nuclear programme

Statement by President of Russia Vladimir Putin

Russia welcomes the agreement reached today in Vienna on a settlement of the situation concerning Iran’s nuclear programme and the joint comprehensive plan of action approved by the six countries and Iran. We are certain that the world heaved a sigh of relief today. The negotiations supported by the UN Security Council and involving Russia, China, the USA, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iran and the European Union went on for many years. We are satisfied that the solution found is based on the principle of phasing and mutuality which our country has been consistently supporting at every stage of these complicated negotiations.

The comprehensive agreement rests on the solid foundation of international law, primarily the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and the IAEA Safeguards, including the additional protocol. Despite the attempts to validate any scenarios based on the use of force, the parties to the negotiations made a choice in favour of stability and cooperation, which will be reflected in a corresponding UN Security Council resolution.

We are grateful to all those who invariably supported efforts to find reliable political and diplomatic solutions to the Iranian issue. The Russian negotiating team and nuclear experts have made a significant expert contribution to the drafting of the comprehensive arrangements, which made it possible to align the different, often opposing views. The IAEA will carefully monitor the implementation of the agreed steps to prove the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.

Iran gets the opportunity to develop this programme, including uranium enrichment, under IAEA control and with the gradual lifting of sanctions imposed against Tehran, something we have long called for. This is also important for the implementation of large-scale plans of peaceful nuclear cooperation between Russia and Iran that got support in the documents approved today.

We expect that all the parties concerned, primarily the six states involved in the negotiations, will comply with the deal in full. The political will demonstrated by these six states and Iran in the course of these negotiations is a guarantee of the successful implementation of the plan of action designed for the long term. Our bilateral relations with Iran will receive a new impetus and will no longer be influenced by external factors.

Russia will do everything in its power to ensure the full implementation of the Vienna agreements, assisting in strengthening global and regional security, global nuclear non-proliferation, the creation in the Middle East of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and the mobilisation of a broad coalition in the region to counter terrorist threats.

Statement by Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On July 14 in Vienna, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his colleagues from Great Britain, Germany, China, the United States, France and Iran, assisted by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding the Iranian nuclear programme.

This deal is the result of an integrated diplomatic process that has lasted for more than a decade. The talks to work out the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action took nearly two years. In the end, the political and diplomatic solution prevailed, which was always what Russia had been calling for. This approach has no alternative when it comes to settling international issues.

The agreement that has been reached will soon be submitted to and, hopefully, approved by the UN Security Council. It sets forth a number of specific voluntary commitments, which the P5+1, the EU and Iran undertake to implement as confidence-building measures and to achieve the final objective of ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme. The IAEA, being the sole international organisation with the requisite authority, experience and expert potential, will monitor compliance with the obligations related to nuclear activities under the agreement.

The deal is based on the approach articulated by President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, which recognises Iran’s unconditional right to implement a peaceful nuclear programme, including uranium enrichment, subject to international controls, clarifying the outstanding issues with the IAEA and lifting the sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. This comprehensive agreement has come to life by following the step-by-step and reciprocal process, proposed by Russia and embraced by all of the parties to the talks.

Russia is committed to continuing intensive efforts to ensure that the agreement is implemented in a sustainable manner, including by carrying out some bilateral projects with Iran.

Russia calls on all of the participants in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to carry out the obligations they have assumed in good faith.

We strongly believe that the negotiated settlement will strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime and will have a positive impact on overall security and stability in the world and in the Middle East, including the Persian Gulf region. This comprehensive agreement is expected to rule out any possibility of settling the Iranian issue by force, as well as create important prerequisites for advancing the objective of creating a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, and mobilise a broad counter-terrorist coalition in the region. This would serve the interests of the international community in its entirety.

The deal is also expected to create new prospects for the progressive development of Russian-Iranian relations on a mutually beneficial and long-term basis, including carrying out major joint projects.

Comment by the Foreign Ministry on the proposed establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine


On July 13, the heads of the missions of Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Ukraine in Russia were granted a reception in the Russian Foreign Ministry upon their request. During a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, they explained their reasons for supporting an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine and the adoption of a UN Security Council resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The representatives of these states said that they intended to discuss the initiative at the UN in New York with the purpose of establishing an international tribunal as soon as possible, without waiting for the conclusion of the technical and criminal investigation into the MH17 disaster.

The official conveyed Russia’s deep condolences regarding the terrible tragedy that claimed the lives of 283 passengers and 15 crew members. He also reaffirmed Russia’s commitment to the implementation by all sides of UN Security Council Resolution 2166, which was adopted upon Russia’s initiative and provides for a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident and demanded that those responsible for this incident be held to account.

At the same time, he stated that the proposal for an international tribunal on the MH17 disaster was untimely and counterproductive.

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News conference by Vladimir Putin following the BRICS and SCO summits


July 10, 2015

Vladimir Putin gave a news conference following the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits in Ufa.

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

Let me start by giving a brief summary of the results of the BRICS and SCO summits that took place here in Ufa. They concluded Russia’s presidency in these two influential organisations and represent a big step in developing our countries’ multifaceted cooperation.

In terms of their influence and scale, the BRICS and SCO summits figure among the important foreign policy events on the international agenda. The heads of 15 countries, representing several different continents – Eurasia, South America, and Africa – came to Ufa. Each of these countries has its own development road, economic growth model, and rich history and culture. It is this diversity and coming together of different traditions that gives the BRICS group and the SCO their strength and tremendous potential.

We held meetings and talks in a wide variety of formats over these three days in Ufa. Both summits included meetings of heads of state and government in narrow and expanded format, as well as an informal joint meeting of the BRICS and SCO leaders, together with the leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union’s member countries, who were also invited to Ufa. Essentially, you could say that we had three organisations meeting here – BRICS, the SCO, and the Eurasian Economic Union.

We also had many bilateral meetings. I had 11 bilateral meetings, for example, and also talks with the President of China and the President of Mongolia together. Now, I still have another two meetings – with the President of Afghanistan and the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Yesterday, I had the chance to speak with journalists in detail about the results of the BRICS summit, and so I will just note the most important points now.

The key documents that were approved by the BRICS leaders – the Ufa Declaration, the plan of action and the Economic Partnership Strategy – contain concrete agreements on the development of our association and the consolidation of its international status, and provide for comprehensive measures to deepen our coordination in foreign policy, and expand mutual trade, investment and technology exchange.

We have opened the door to the practical operation of BRICS financial institutions – the New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement, with a total capacity of $200 billion. We have agreed with our BRICS partners that, before the year’s end, a special roadmap will be developed for major collaborative projects in infrastructure, industry and agriculture.

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference on the sidelines of the BRICS and SCO summits in Ufa

LAVROV PRESS-CONFERENCEQuestion: Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin had talks on the sidelines of the BRICS and SCO summits in Ufa. They mentioned the issue of joining the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). What could you say about the results of their meeting?

Sergey Lavrov: During the summit in Moscow last May, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin signed a memorandum on the initiative to join Silk Road Economic Belt projects and the processes of Eurasian economic integration. Naturally, Russia and China are not the only two potential participants in these efforts. This issue concerns the entire EAEU. The initiative put forward by the leaders of our two countries is now being reviewed by our EAEU partners. Both Russia and China believe that SCO is a convenient venue for all the parties concerned to discuss specific aspects of this initiative. Our SCO partners are interested in discussing all aspects of joining Silk Road projects with Eurasian economic integration. Let me repeat that this is not just a Russian-Chinese project. It was suggested by their leaders but must have a multilateral dimension.

Naturally, we’ll inform you about the specific areas of practical work that will be determined by the SCO and during contacts between the EAEU and China. Apart from the SCO, which includes all potential participants of this major initiative, the EAEU and China are also developing their partnership and contacts.

Question: The SCO Summit in Ufa will adopt a statement on the 70th anniversary of the defeat of fascism. What is the significance of the common position of the SCO members against the backdrop of attempts to revise the outcome of World War II?

Sergey Lavrov: The 70th anniversary of victory in World War II and the Great Patriotic War, the victory of the Chinese people over Japanese militarism and the end of WWII are sacred dates. We are making special efforts to prevent the world community from forgetting the reasons and results of WWII and to explain who won the war and who tried to enslave the world and establish unilateral, dictatorial orders.

Recently, in Europe and other parts of the world, certain forces have been alleging that everything was different from what we remember and that definite conclusions should be drawn from that. They believe it is possible to put to doubt the sentences of the Nuremberg Tribunal, to remove monuments to the heroes of the war, and to bracket them with those who served the fascists, who were their accomplices. This is a very dangerous problem, with far-reaching consequences. It is important to nip these efforts in the bud, to prevent those responsible from seizing hold of the media and making such allegations the focus of debates about the future of the world. Such debates have practical significance.

Revising the results of WWII calls into question the entire system of international relations that is centred on the United Nations. I don’t think I need to explain to this audience how dangerous this is and what serious risks are involved in such attempts. Therefore, Russia, China, other SCO members and the overwhelming majority of other states are working together to prevent the attempts to glorify Nazis and Nazism and to curb very dangerous trends that we are observing near our borders in Europe. It is no accident that the overwhelming majority of countries voted for the UN General Assembly resolution on countering the glorification of Nazism, which was co-authored by Russia, China and other SCO member states.

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  4. Vladimir Putin's Speech at the Russian Security Council meeting
  5. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov answers questions from the media after talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Vienna, June 30, 2015
  6. Reply by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich to a media question about Canada’s new sanctions against Russia
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  8. Statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Finland’s decision to deny entry to the Russian delegation in the run-up to PACE session
  9. Press Release by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Sergey Lavrov's meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
  10. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Walid Muallem, Moscow, June 29, 2015
  11. Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian MFA on the 70th Anniversary of UN Charter
  12. Vladimir Putin’s Speech and subsequent QA at the plenary session of the 19th St Petersburg International Economic Forum
  13. On the passing away of Yevgeny Primakov, a prominent Russian statesman and diplomat
  14. Concept of the Russian Federation’s Presidency in BRICS in 2015-2016
  15. V.Putin calls on Ukrainian military, Donbass militias to take measures to stop shelling
  16. Comment by the Information and Press Department on the parliamentary elections in Tunisia
  17. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Life News television and Izvestia daily, Moscow, 27 October 2014
  18. Welcoming remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the participants and guests of the 3rd International Conference “Russia and Europe: Topical Issues of Modern International Journalism”
  19. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company regarding the birthday of Yevgeny Primakov. Moscow, 28 October 2014

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