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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

Dear colleagues,

Our approaches to pressing international stories many times the subject was addressed by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, including in the framework of the Big press conference in December last year, and just recently during his speech to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

In his opening remarks, I note that the world, and we see it clearly continues to be very uncertain. The key destabilizing factor is the aggressive line of some Western States, especially our American colleagues, for the destruction of the international legal architecture security replacement of private international law invented a “world order based on rules.” In this series – scrapped by the Washington Treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles (INF Treaty), “zamatyvanie” prospects for the renewal of the Contract on reduction of strategic offensive arms (start-3), artificial whipping up of tensions in the Persian Gulf, attempts to revise the universally recognized legal basis of middle East settlement, the strengthening of military activity of NATO near the Russian borders and the line for the privatization of the multilateral mechanisms of control of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The trust deficit in the world politics and economy exacerbated by the widespread use of such methods of unfair competition, as unilateral sanctions, protectionism, trade wars. Among the latest egregious examples of U.S. attempts to prevent the implementation of the project “Northern stream-2” contrary to the opinion of the leading countries of the European Union.

In Washington began openly to abuse the privilege of the country where is located the headquarters of the United Nations. At its discretion, in violation of international law, refuse to representatives of the “objectionable” States the ability to participate in the events of “on a UN platform”. Probably, this is the new rule in another guise.

Russian diplomacy conducts independent and multi-vector course, given to it by the President, and also made efforts aimed at de-escalation of international tension, the strengthening of the legal, democratic principles of interstate communication. Try to contribute to maintaining global and regional security in all dimensions.

Among our absolute priorities is the fight against international terrorism, including in Syria, promoting the political process in this country, the solution to urgent humanitarian problems of the Syrian people. The “piggy Bank” the past year was the launch of the Syrian constitutional Committee thanks to the coordinated efforts of the countries-guarantors of the Astana format. Now come to the fore the issues of post-conflict reconstruction of ATS, its reintegration into the “Arab family.” We will actively promote it.

We have contributed to overcoming other conflicts in the middle East and North Africa, including Libya and Yemen. An important step towards improving the situation in the region could be the implementation of the Russian concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf. In the updated form we presented it last summer in the framework of the scientific seminar with the participation of all representatives of science of the countries of the region and experts.

The traditional priority of Russia – expansion of cooperation with partners in the Eurasian space, primarily within the CSTO, the Union State, the CIS, the Eurasian economic Union. Emphasizing success on the track, the Eurasian integration, including the expansion of external relations of the Union. As you know, signed a free trade agreement with Vietnam (2016), last year agreements were signed with Singapore and Serbia. Last year came into force the agreement on trade-economic cooperation between the EEC and the PRC, the Interim agreement with Iran. Continue active negotiations with Israel and Egypt. The decision on the beginning of the negotiation process with India. All of these actions are in line with the initiative of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin on the formation of a “Great Eurasian partnership” open to all countries in Europe Eurasia.

Expanded Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction. During the state visit to Russia by Chinese President XI Jinping in June last year announced their entry into a new era. Foreign policy coordination between Moscow and Beijing provided an important stabilizing influence on the situation in the world.

Strengthened and of special privileged strategic partnership with India, diversified relations with the countries of ASEAN and other countries in Asia and Latin America. A significant breakthrough has been the development of cooperation of Russian Federation with the African continent. As you are aware, in October last year held the first ever summit of Russia-Africa, the results of which lead out of the Russian-African dialogue to a qualitatively new level.

Managed to achieve progress in the settlement of the internal Ukrainian crisis. After a three year break summit in “channel format” after the new leadership in Kiev were still able to take steps to implement the decisions of the two previous summits of the Quartet. We hope that the decisions taken in Paris in December will allow us to move forward with the implementation of “Complex measures”. But of course, these decisions must not remain on paper, as it was under the regime of Petro Poroshenko.

In the coming year mean to work for the maintenance of global security and strategic stability, including efforts to prevent an arms race in space and non-weaponization of cyberspace. We make full use of the potential of the UN, “group of twenty”, the CIS, the EAEC, the ability of our presidency in the SCO and BRICS. Particular attention will be given to work in the “five” permanent members of the UN security Council, the key – maintaining and strengthening the Central coordinating role of the United Nations in world Affairs, the inviolability of its Charter principles of international life. In this effort in solidarity with us, the overwhelming majority of States.

In conclusion, of course, emphasize that this year is the Year of two major anniversaries – the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Second world war and the great Patriotic war and the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. We will continue to do everything necessary to counter the falsification of history, the good name of soldiers, to prevent the audit of the internationally recognized results of the defeat of Nazism. In defense of the historical memory, along with us act as a responsible state in the world. I also note the contribution of our compatriots who live abroad. Waiting for foreign partners at the celebrations in Moscow on 9 may.

Thank you. Ready to answer your questions.

Question: We know that Russia and China this year, together will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Second world war. Our country has done a lot for the construction of the postwar world order. What is their current role in maintaining global stability? How is the Russian-Chinese cooperation in this direction?

S. V. Lavrov: I have already touched on our strategic relationship with China. We are equally suited to all key problems of international life. Our estimates and Outlook on the development of the world in the modern era is reflected in a number of joint documents signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President XI Jinping, including the Joint statement of the Russian Federation and people’s Republic of China on the development of relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation, entering a new era, signed in June last year during the visit of the Chinese leader to the Russian Federation, which brought our strategic relations to a qualitatively new level.

We closely coordinate our steps at the UN. Always try to support each other and uphold the principles of the UN Charter, are the Foundation of the Organization. Support each other in the UN security Council in addressing issues that are associated with the need to uphold these principles in each specific crisis, as it was recently when addressing the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria. We vote simultaneously and always support justice, try not to miss decisions that often our Western colleagues are trying to impose in order to carry out its unilateral agenda, not taking into account the need to achieve a consensus decision.

I mentioned the decision which eventually was made taking into account positions of Russia and China on the extension of the mechanism of cross-border humanitarian assistance. Our Western partners all by hook or by crook tried to ensure that there is one crossing for delivery of humanitarian assistance across the border of Iraq with Syria. Item was Yarubia. Moaned and groaned, saying that without this checkpoint the Syrians who live in the northeast, are just in distress, will be a humanitarian disaster. We knew that it is not. Our Western colleagues have to keep this transition Aerobie solely in order to legitimize the illegal presence of armed forces of the US-led coalition on the East Bank of the river Euphrates. Honestly consider what is happening from the point of view of delivery of humanitarian aid to the Eastern Bank of the river Euphrates, the statistics: only two months (October and November last year) the UN supported the Government of Syria from Damascus and Qamishli sent to the North-East more than 420 trucks, including 162 tons of medical supplies, equipment and medications, and through the transition Yarubia in 20 months was directed at only a little over a hundred trucks. Several orders of this transition has lagged behind that done on the Government of Syria and the Syrian Arab red Crescent.

This is one example, as we have with our Chinese strategic partners to defend basic facts and not allow him to turn the UN security Council and its decisions into a tool of unilateral pressure on the unwanted modes.

Question: At what stage is now the Syrian crisis? What prevents to solve it? Can we see this year with the restoration of relations between Syria and Turkey, the European Union and the Arab world?

S. V. Lavrov: I would say that the Syrian crisis is in an advanced stage of settlement. There is progress in almost all areas – military, political, diplomatic, humanitarian. Slightly lags behind economic recovery, as our Western partners, some countries in the region have put forward pre-conditions. Moreover, they change depending on what happens in real life. First they said that as soon as the political process, then they will remove restrictions on providing assistance to Syria for the return of refugees, economic recovery. The political process was started. Now they say, let’s wait until it will bring results. So this bar will continue to rise, conditions will change during the game. This, of course, is not quite conducive results.

Importantly, in the fight against terrorism gained a decisive victory. The remaining pockets of resistance fighters and norouzi is primarily in Iglinskiy the area of de-escalation and on the East Bank of the ISIS, in my opinion, about 10 thousand of them are for the most part in the camps which are controlled by the so-called Syrian democratic forces (SDS). It’s mainly Kurdish units. Disturbing information, which we now check, that for a bribe Syrian democratic forces let the criminals, who begin to spread to other parts of Syrian territory. The information is alarming. We have long warned our American partners, which have influence on the VTS that the militants, who are kept as prisoners under guard in camps do not run out. Unfortunately, the risk that this can occur there.

I’ve already mentioned how the Syrian Government cooperates with the UN. Gave an example that emphasizes that any reason to retain the mechanism of cross-border aid delivery without consultation with the Syrian Government no longer remains. Humanitarian assistance helps to create the conditions for the return of refugees.

We are doing a lot in national capacity, not only contributing to relevant UN funds, which provide aid to Syrian and other peoples of the region and bilaterally, including through our military who are “on the ground”, military police and other units, assist in the restoration of critical infrastructure – water supply, electricity, the creation of basic educational conditions and conditions in the health sector. Encourage all countries to follow suit and not try to politicize, to furnish some geopolitical requirements of the provision of humanitarian assistance.

On the political front, as I said, is the result in the creation of a constitutional Committee, which has formed a drafting Committee, adopted the rules of procedure. It held two meetings, preparing the third.

Next week we are expecting a special envoy of the UN Secretary General on Syria G. Pedersen, who also plans to visit Damascus. I hope that these negotiations and its contacts with the Syrian leadership will form a timeline for the further work of the constitutional Committee.

We certainly are convinced of the need to correct the error that was made when in 2011, Syria was expelled from the Arab League. Need to return the country in the “Arab family”, as repeatedly said the Russian President.

Question: Russia and Italy for a very long time talking about the Libyan crisis. Do You think any mistakes were made by different Italian government in recent years against Libya? What the Italians could do now compared to last? What do You expect from the Libyan conference on Libya in Berlin?

Sergey Lavrov: the Main mistake was not made by Italy, and our colleagues in NATO, where, in 2011, when the decision to bomb Libya and overthrow the regime in violation of the resolutions of the UN Security Council played a decisive role after all, not Italy, as far as I know. I will not name the leaders of that epic adventure. Probably all they know. Then was destroyed the Libyan state, which still can not recover.

Attempts to assist the Libyan sides to come to some agreement and returned the country to normal, there were many. It was Shirtshe agreement, which is still regarded by most foreign players as containing the basic principles of the Libyan settlement. Of course, life goes on, some nuances can be added, especially since there was agreement in the beginning of last year in Abu Dhabi, which also concerned the equipment of the state authority in Libya and, unfortunately, were not fulfilled. A conference was held in Paris. It was even agreed upon specific date of the election, which was to be held in Libya. But, as we know, no need to get ahead of myself and make too specific results. Diplomacy is still a gradual process. There was a conference in Palermo, where, too, was useful work has been done.

We are in response to suggestions of our Turkish colleagues volunteered to try to contribute to these efforts. Invited the leaders of both the East and West of Libya. They accepted our invitation. We are seven hours or even more were in negotiations with the delegations of the Commander of the Libyan national army, Marshal H. the Haftarot and the President of the chamber of deputies of Libya in Tobruk Ali Abdullah Saleh on the one hand and the Chairman of the national consensus Government of Libya (NTC) F. Saraga and the Chairman of the Supreme State Council of H. Mishri on the other side. There is a text that seems quite balanced. He called for a cease-fire, the beginning of a political process. It was signed by F. Sarraj and H. Mesri, Marshall H. Haftarot and A. Saleh asked for more time. But the important thing is that the truce, which was announced before their arrival to Moscow, observed. It’s a definite step forward. Let’s hope it continues, preferably indefinitely. At least the Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany J. Maas recently met in Benghazi with J. Haftarot and stated that Marshall reaffirmed its commitment to the ceasefire. It’s already useful.

From the very beginning we supported the initiative on holding the Berlin conference, because, the more countries will be willing to help the Libyans create conditions for the settlement, the better. To convince these people is not easy, here we have to join forces. Because of these considerations, we will participate in the conference, which will take place on Sunday in Berlin. We participated in all five preparatory meetings. The final documents now, in my opinion, look almost coherent. They fully comply with the decisions adopted UN Security Council on the Libyan resolution, do not contain any provisions contrary to its decisions. We tried to bring them into good condition in the negotiations. Now the main thing – that after the Berlin conference, if all goes as planned and the UN Security Council will support its outcome, the Libyan side did not repeat their past mistakes and began to impose additional terms and accuse each other. Until the relationship between them very tense. They don’t even want to be in the same room, not to mention, to talk and meet each other.

We, together with our Italian colleagues will participate in this conference. I had with the Minister of foreign Affairs of Italy L. Di Maio is scheduled to meet in the morning in Berlin before the conference starts at the highest level.

Question: In connection with the recent constitutional changes proposed by President Vladimir Putin and new appointments what do You think, will there be a new foreign policy doctrine of the Russian Federation? As we know, foreign policy is determined by the President. We’ve learned that from Your lips have always heard the term “the rule of international law.” We understand that these changes reinforce the sovereignty of Russia, this is the right step in the protection of shared national interests. What could be the changes in practice?

S. V. Lavrov: the President of Russia Vladimir Putin has already commented on our attitude to international law and how it relates to our laws and the Constitution. The Constitution, as some time ago explained by the constitutional court in response to the corresponding request contains basic, core rules that determine all our actions. No international agreement should not conflict with our Constitution.

I want to draw Your attention to the following. Any international agreement that takes the Russian Federation to which it is attached, signed and submitted for ratification to the Russian Parliament – the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. Ratification shall be in the form of a Federal law. Thus, our international obligations, first, become a part of our legal system, being rebuked in the form of a Federal law, and second, Federal law can be passed that contradicts the Constitution.

I do not see here any reasons and pretexts for speculation and search for some hidden meaning.

Question: Yesterday in Lebanon, the demonstrators approached the perimeter of the Russian diplomatic mission in Beirut. Maybe this is a message to Russia in connection with its policy in the region from external parties, which support and move the revolutionary process in Lebanon?

S. V. Lavrov: We appreciated how the Lebanese leadership and the relevant services responded to the incident. Do not see any reasons to promote conspiracy theories, to invent conspiracy theories.

As I understand it, near the Embassy is a center where people are arrested for participation in riots, where the demonstrators are trying to liberate. Two tear gas grenades were on the territory of the Embassy. They do not cause any harm to people or property. As I said, the Lebanese services said they would pay greater attention to the security of our diplomatic mission.

Question: You began your speech with the word “fever”. Indeed, in the past year, we saw protests around the world. They broke out in different parts of the world – from Latin America to Hong Kong. However, the key question is: what is infected and infects someone? In most cases, we observed support for these movements by Washington, saw that the mood is artificially heated.

Don’t have time to start in 2020, and the policy pressure from the United States is already gaining new momentum – a sound of American-Iranian crisis. How should be afraid of continuation of this trend in 2020? Should I wait for the new “Venezuelas” – States with the diarchy? In Your opinion, what is the fate of Iran in 2020?

S. V. Lavrov: it is hard to make any predictions. As said in one of his great aphorisms Viktor Chernomyrdin: “Forecasting is an extremely difficult thing, especially when we are talking about the future.”

To build “predictions about the future”, especially in regard to how to lead our us colleagues very difficult. You have listed some examples of their behavior. It is difficult to predict what may be introduced in the current year, but to exclude anything.

I have repeatedly mentioned that the international law they are trying to substitute rules that are the basis of world order, which is necessary first of all to the West. This is an attempt to postpone the formation of a democratic, polycentric system of world order – an objective process. The West is trying to contain the emergence of major powers. We see how stress occurs trade dialogue between China and the United States.In principle, the world trade organization (WTO) has a dispute settlement body. This body cannot function for more than a year, because the United States blocked the appointment of members of the mechanism, and it does not have a quorum. Instead of solve problems in world trade through negotiated universal international legal mechanism on the settlement of disputes of the WTO, the United States prefer one-on-one to deal with their competitors.

Just this morning I read that the European Commission expressed concern about the fact, does not violate the recently reached us-China agreement the principles of free trade, the WTO rules. The European Commission has reserved the right to revisit this issue.

But if to speak about those things that directly affect international security and the problems with proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, here, too, attempts to take these processes into their own hands and prevent a transparent, universal dialogue aiming at reaching a consensus decision, which would be approved by all.

You see what is happening in the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW). I’m not just talking about it. Absolutely illegally gave the Technical Secretariat functions of determining guilt in the gross violation of the Convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction (CWC). The same approach is now trying to apply to the Convention on the prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons and on their destruction (BTWC), in which we have been together with most of the other countries helped to establish a verification mechanism. The Americans, in fact, single-handedly block this decision and are trying through the secretariats of international organizations, including the UN Secretariat, through its closed, non-transparent, secret bilateral contacts to promote their interests, including the former Soviet Union. Create a biological laboratory with the participation of the Pentagon. It’s all very serious stuff. I repeat, all they care about. But Americans do not want to consider them honestly, with the participation of all those who are signatories of the BTWC.

You mentioned Iran. There is a Joint comprehensive plan of action to resolve the Iranian nuclear program (SVPD), which is an integral part of international law, endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution, which is mandatory. It is international law. The Americans decided to apply their rules – and took out the Comprehensive plan. Not only ceased to perform their obligations, but forbid all others to trade with Iran. And from Iran’s demand that he executed the document, called U.S. President George trump “the worst in history”, adding that the need for a new instrument. But Iran would have to implement it. All must obey the US not to trade with Iran, and Iran with its obligations to perform have. This is an alarming situation. Now it becomes even more dangerous turn: the three countries participating in the AGREEMENT from Europe – Britain, France and Germany – sent a letter to the High representative of the Union for foreign Affairs and security policy J. Borrell, which said they want to start a dispute settlement procedure envisaged in the AGREEMENT. This letter closed, but that it was received, is already known.

Happens like what has repeatedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said that at some stage the Europeans will use some kind of situation around Iran, some following the actions of Iran in order to facilitate to shift the blame on Iran for everything that happened. Iran – we, too, have said many times – “hung up” performing only the tasks that he took upon himself voluntarily, over and above the obligations under the Treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT), the Agreement with IAEA on safeguards in nuclear field, obligations under the Additional Protocol to it. Everything that is done in Iran in the nuclear field, is available and is carried out in the presence of IAEA inspectors. Now Iran is the most inspected country from all countries-members of the NPT.

When European countries were in favor of the fact that Iran is now obliged to take action, they expressed regret that the United States withdrew from the AGREEMENT, but tough and accusatory manner that has addressed the requirements of Iran. Just yesterday I read the news that the Minister of defence of Germany A. crump of Karrenbauer confirmed rumors that before this letter was written by the foreign Ministers of Germany, Britain and France, the Americans delivered an ultimatum to the three countries threatened to impose a 25 percent duty on automobile and other products, if they do not desist from SVPD and begin to advocate the development of a new agreement that will satisfy US. About it right said the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, urging to forget about the old deal and sign a new one that is not “Obama’s deal” and “deal D. trump”.

The methods used by our American partners are quite diverse. What will happen in the future, I just can’t predict, although we continue our dialogue on all issues with the Americans as with the Europeans.

A few days ago held a meeting of Deputy foreign Ministers of Russia and the USA on strategic stability. Discussed whole range of issues on the agenda, including the sound and the theme of predictability. Can’t say I’ve achieved some impressive results, but the dialogue continues. We will firmly to ensure that our world is not left without any agreements, which somehow constrain, control of weapons, especially nuclear, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

No wonder the President of Russia Vladimir Putin in the Message to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation emphasized the role of the five nuclear powers – permanent members of the UN Security Council. It is not a privilege – it is a huge responsibility to be a permanent member of the UN security Council and possess veto power. It is actually a responsibility which cannot easily be discounted, so the call of our President to the five permanent members of the UN security Council in accordance with the UN Charter understood and expressed their responsibility for everything that happens in the sphere of military-political security in the world, should be heard.

Question: I would Like to ask a question about murder in the CARS of the three Russian journalists. Recently reported that local law enforcement authorities burned the clothes of all three of the journalists as evidence. Did the Russian foreign Ministry to the colleagues from the Central African Republic? As possible this situation with physical evidence, because in Russia have not ended the investigation into the murder of Russian journalists?

S. V. Lavrov: of Course, we treated. Frankly, not heard about a specific incident with the destruction of clothing. But our Investigative Committee opened a criminal case. We have repeatedly commented on the situation, including our official representative of M. V. Zakharov. We commented on it from the point of view of what to investigate must be competent in this area, the authorities (in this case, the Investigative Committee). We were commenting from a position of our Ministry, which is responsible for creating the conditions for travel of our citizens abroad. We warned everyone, especially journalists, and people of other professions that the goals set forth in the request for a visa must comply with the actual goals, which then will be implemented after crossing the border. This is absolutely a terrible tragedy. We will ensure that the investigation was brought to an end. Understand that the profession of a journalist is very dangerous, and Your colleagues, unfortunately, die each year. In the “hot spots” to work better, at least notifying the Russian government, so we know where our people can appear. I understand that it is not to inform us – it is your right. But in order to be a little more secure, I would like you to consider this opportunity, if the threat point will be sent to You or Your colleagues.

Q: When You came last year in Nagoya, You said that the Russian side handed over a list of their specific concerns. As I understand it, the concern is the deployment of American air defense in Japan. What assurances should give Japan the Russian side in order to advance in the negotiations? Still the allied relations between Japan and the United States, it is impossible to completely eliminate your concerns.

Sergey Lavrov: Actually, You said it all. Actually, this is a very serious question, a very important part of our dialogue with Japan. Not only in relation to the peace Treaty. We basically do not want to get on with our good neighbor as we believe Japan, based on the threat of the Russian Federation.

Indeed, we have concerns. They are formulated are discussed in the framework of the dialogue between Deputy Ministers of foreign Affairs and within the framework of the dialogue at the level of secretaries of security councils. Yesterday, the General Secretary of the national security Council of Japan S. Kitamura was in Russia, met with Secretary of Security Council of Russia N. P.Patrushev, was received by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. These topics were touched on. You mentioned that Japan hosts U.S. missile defense system land-based. Our Japanese colleagues have been telling us that doing this is solely to protect from threats emanating from the Korean Peninsula, and that these PRO will be managed solely by the Japanese side. They will be subordinate to the Japanese self-defense forces. In these questions we are trying to establish the specific details, but not the main thing. In Japan are purchased in the U.S. those same launchers for missiles that have already been tested on Americans is not only to launch the missiles, and shock, and cruise. It is a weapon that was banned from the INF Treaty, while the Contract was valid, and it did not break the Americans. It is possible for impact weapons close to our borders. Of course, we must take this into account. We have no suspicions that Japanese government, the political elite is hatching some evil schemes against the Russian Federation. Not at all. But you do have, like You said, the military Alliance with the United States. If You look at the documents, statements, decisions in this Union are accepted, You will see that the US is using the Union to confirm its line that Russia must be contained. Russia is the enemy, and Japan is part of this military strategy of its closest ally the United States. Of course, we want clarity, I want to understand how to develop our further cooperation if the Americans draw Japan in its policy, declared by law as directed against Russia. The dialogue is important. We want clarity.

Question: Presumably Tuesday begins the impeachment process in the U.S. Senate. Many in the West say that it would weaken American support for Ukraine and will strengthen positions of Russia. What do You think?

S. V. Lavrov: the Impeachment of you. You’re American, You know better.

Question: In October 2019 You called BRICS group standard multipolar diplomacy. What key goals have been achieved in the past year? Maybe we can talk about the goals for 2020?

S. V. Lavrov: I will Not take time. This is a factual question. On our website our presidency, set out the whole of our program. Can send additionally. We have prepared answers to standard questions about what is happening in the organization. We will hang them to the site, You will be able to use them. We have over 100 events under the presidency. Many of them will pass not only in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg but in other cities, in particular in the Urals are planned, including a Ministerial meeting. I think it will be useful. The summit, which will crown our presidency will take place in the second half of July in St. Petersburg. We are actively preparing.

Question: Yesterday, Latvian Saeima has accused Russia of falsifying the history of the Second world war. As you know, most often historical falsifications do just the Baltic States. The saddest thing is that in this matter listen to them in international organizations. We have documents such as last year’s controversial resolution of the European Parliament, which imposes equal liability on the USSR and the Third Reich at the outbreak of the Second world war. As we have made? How can Russia protect its interests and the historical truth? What steps need to be taken?

Lavrov: we made that in the EU blooming neo-Nazism? Perhaps, we cannot influence the situation. But the shame of the EU, we can do it. They are, unfortunately, hiding his eyes to the floor and away from talking. In the best case, mentioned about the need to respect freedom of speech, expression, etc. For the same reason they refrain every year at the UN General Assembly, when we make a resolution on the inadmissibility of glorification of Nazism and the revival of any form of hateful ideology, etc. by the Way, the Americans together with the Ukrainians to vote against it, which is not surprising. Americans just don’t want anything to limit myself. And the Ukrainians, I guess, if you hold a resolution to oppose neo-Nazi radicals, which are very many things now over there by itself.

But when You say that they are supported by international organizations, I disagree. Just an international organization, which I have mentioned – the UN General Assembly, by an overwhelming majority (130-140) annually adopts a resolution that condemns any manifestations of neo-Nazism and glorification of Nazi criminals. The European Parliament, of course, an international organization, but it is not universal. It, just like in EU, many things happen at the initiative of the minorities – refer to the rule of consensus, the need to consider each other’s opinions. But the minority is quite aggressive. You said, quite rightly, that the Baltic countries, a number of other here play the first violin.

About specific facts that were presented by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin in his speech at the meeting of CIS countries in St. Petersburg in December of last year, the response to them was on the principle of “an uneasy conscious betrays itself”. As You know, the President said that he is preparing a detailed article that relies solely on the facts, the new evidence raised in the Russian archives. By the way, yesterday the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation published not previously seen the light of archival data about how and who liberated Warsaw. The Polish side by the mouth of its diplomats talked about the fact that it will be very interesting to implement the idea of Vladimir Putin and to understand the archival materials. Here, “egg to the day of Christ”. Archival materials are ready and it would be important to know, what would you say the Polish side after they explore. Attempts to defame our country from the point of view of the outcome of the Second world war, its causes, and to use this lie in order to weaken today the position of Russia in the international arena will continue.

Next week in Jerusalem will be an international event with the participation, including Russian President Vladimir Putin in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. We do know that our Polish colleagues (although Polish President A. Duda announced that he would not go to this event, don’t know why. Maybe because there will be Vladimir Putin) trying to convince the Western participants of the ceremony (and there will be the United States, some European leaders), that they in their speeches, outlined the Polish perspective on Russia’s approaches to the Second world war. The methods are quite obscene, given the event, in which they can take such attempts.

Question: Kazakhstan in the framework of several special operations, returned from Syria about 600 of its citizens, including 400 children. More recently, in the framework of the operation returned from Iraq about 14 children, establishing their relationship with their relatives from Kazakhstan through DNA. How do You assess the actions of Kazakhstan for the return of their citizens from this region?

Lavrov: the actions that any sovereign state has the right to take in order to fulfill obligations to its citizens. We are engaged in the same issues. Our military, intelligence agencies, Responsible for the rights of a child involved with the return of our children from Iraq and Syria. We exchanged experience with our Kazakh colleagues. I was just yesterday in Uzbekistan. Our Uzbek friends also rescues its citizens, at least their wives and children. The insurgents themselves is a separate issue. I have already touched on the problem that now exists in Eastern Syria when fighters run away from the camps of detention. In most cases, women were drugged and just happened to be there not of their own free will. Children to do with it. Of course, I wish they were returned to a normal environment and would increase the normal people, and not under the influence of the ideas of radical terrorists.

Question: do You think that is adequate if the actions of the Polish authorities in relation to cemeteries, in particular, referring to the demolition by bulldozers monuments? The ex-President of Poland L. Walesa in an interview with “channel one” have expressed readiness to come to Russia. As You look for something to replace the current Polish President, A. Duda on the former, Lech Walesa, the Nobel prize winner?

Sergey Lavrov: with regard to the attitude to the monuments, I have already touched upon the subject of the outcome of the Second world war in principle. I am convinced that there is need to rely solely on historical facts. We are always open to dialogue on the basis of archival documents. We have with Poland for a long time acted the whole structure of bilateral mechanisms, channels of communication, among which were Strategic Committee, headed by foreign Ministers, with the participation of many other agencies.

In this structure, there was a group of historians who were engaged in the difficult issues from the past, but has always maintained its position based on scientific facts. Some time ago the group has produced a joint book about a certain stage of our relationship, about common history with Poland. In a number of episodes of the period, managed to prepare a joint article, and the topics on which the views of historians went, published the Polish and Russian views.

I believe that this work should be renewed, not to become hostage to attempts to make the history of propaganda. When our Polish colleagues demolish the monument, they set out their position, and argue, say, Poland didn’t sign up under the preservation of monuments that are not in cemeteries. They are ready to protect the memorials erected on the graves. This kind of pettiness. If we continue to approach this issue, we will lose our sense of decency. We’re talking about people who laid down their lives, gave their lives, the most precious thing they had for the liberation of Europe. Therefore, I fully share the position of those (including the President of the Czech Republic M. Zeman) who are against the destruction of monuments of the war.

As for Lech Walesa, it is respected, he is known as a completely independent politician. He has his opinion, which he does not hesitate to Express and defend. If he is interested to come to Russia, it’s his decision. We will be glad to help make his stay here comfortable. About meetings at the political level – it is not a question to me.

Question: What is Your assessment of cooperation between Russia and Germany after the recent visit of Chancellor Angela Merkel? There was a breakthrough? She came to Moscow for the first time in five years.

S. V. Lavrov: I do Not think that in modern conditions the contacts between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel need to have to be aimed at some kind of breakthrough. They communicate regularly on the sidelines of various events (most recently was a meeting in Paris before the Chancellor arrived in Moscow), on the phone. It’s working, substantive, pragmatic relations. No one is trying to convince each other that someone is wrong, you first need to resolve ideological differences, and then everything else.

We understand that there are sanctions, a position which, unfortunately, occupied Germany after the coup d’etat in Ukraine, held in a situation when the position of Berlin were ignored and the putschists have treated it as a non-existent value – after all, Germany also guaranteed the agreement that ripped revolutionaries. I have already alluded to this. Unfortunately, Germany together with other European countries, then simply “shrugged”, as we say, resigned to the illegal act committed against her own will, and signatures. Began to consider the Ukrainian crisis solely from the point when Russia responded to the will of the inhabitants of the Crimea and the Crimea after the referendum had returned to Russia. Our Western colleagues believe here. But how was this coup, its leaders immediately adopted a law abolishing the rights of the Russian population as a coup of nationalist-radical organizations demanded that the Russians were from the Crimea – all “doesn’t count”, it was “before”. Upset the West, but when Crimeans did what we dreamed of decades after the Soviet collapse. That’s the problem.

Merkel’s visit was not wearing an extraordinary character. Our German colleagues were especially interested in the successful conduct of the Berlin conference on Libya, that spent a lot of time. Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel about an hour talking one-on-one, and in the meantime we talked with the Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany J. Maas and his staff. Of course, they talked about the economy, energy, the “Nord stream”. In his opening words at the press conference and in answering questions it all sounded. I think that it was a normal working particular visit. This is the pragmatism of our relations with Germany.

Question: Speaking of Iran, You are very critical of the United States and three European countries but did not say what can be done now Russia to avoid further escalation in the conflict with Iran?

S. V. Lavrov: I Hope You follow our statements and initiatives. We find it unacceptable what is happening with the Joint comprehensive plan of action (SVPD). The plan was that Iran limit its nuclear program certain parameters in terms of enrichment, the amount of presence at each point of heavy water, enriched uranium reserves (about 4%). Iran has undertaken commitments that require more than a universal agreement on non-proliferation requirements and IAEA documents. And for what it will do beyond their conventional international obligations in response he merely promised to remove restrictions on trade with Iran (the West did not go to verligte conditions). And this is not done. The United States banned all trade with Iran, threatens sanctions. The Europeans tried, as we say, “I buhorokurilish,” he said, which will create a mechanism to maintain trade with Iran regardless of the us dollar and the United States. It was created for more than a year ago (it’s called “Instex”) only for transactions involving humanitarian goods not covered even under us sanctions. Said that subsequently, when the mechanism begins to operate, it will be extended to services trade in other goods, including oil, which is mostly for Iran. For more than a year, this mechanism has not carried out any transactions. One was started but still not finished. She touches the medicines in the amount of $ 10 million. USA. You know what is a drop in the sea some.

When Iran says it will “suspend” implementation of its voluntary commitments, we certainly believe that that is not helpful, gives rise to the same Americans to further aggravate the situation. But we see the reasons why Iran forced to do so. He did not refuse everything else that is binding on all States parties to the Treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. We believe that the Europeans can and should do much more.

There is a problem with the decisions of private business. You can’t force a private company to trade to the detriment of themselves. If the company has interests, investments directly related to the use of the dollar in the United States or somewhere in other places, the company itself needs to decide where it will work. We understand what can be the solution. But there are companies that do not have any obligations and interests in the territory of which American legislators can somehow limit or prejudice.

Just now discussing the question of what we should do. Our representatives, Deputy Ministers of foreign Affairs in constant contact with the European external action service, which is the focal point of SVPD. I think that in the near future it is necessary to hold a meeting, to honestly understand the situation and understand who is thinking what. Because our partners – the so-called Western Troika (Britain, France, Germany) – claim that their action, criticism, and demands on Iran aimed only to save the AGREEMENT. Prime Minister Boris Johnson around the same time when those assurances were heard from the three capitals, offered to cancel the transaction, which concluded former U.S. President, Barack Obama, and conclude one that will suit the present, D. trump. Then they tried to disavow, but “the word is not a Sparrow.” If we talk about what we will do in the near future, I think we need to hold a meeting of political Directors of all the remaining participants of the AGREEMENT: the European trio, Russia, China and of course Iran and just honestly talk to each other.

Question: these days, it formed a new Russian Government, You will in the future the Minister of foreign Affairs? I wish to stay?

S. V. Lavrov: You probably have been working as a journalist, you know. See, everyone laughed. Three days ago I was asked to officiate, I got it.

Question: What is Your impression of the meeting with the Prime Minister of India N. Modi? Were you able to negotiate the trade between Russia and India in local currency?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: during the meeting with the Prime Minister of India N. Modi and foreign Minister S. Jaisankar we are not talking about the national currency. We have the mechanisms for maintenance of our trade and economic relations – this issue is dealt with by the intergovernmental Commission. It works with a fairly intense regularity. This year it will be held on the next meeting.

We were discussing more political issues of our agenda: cooperation within the SCO, BRICS, especially given the fact that Russia this year presides in both unions. Spoke and about the General situation in the Asia-Pacific region (APR), including the new terminology, the introduction into circulation – “Indo-Pacific”. Has always been the Asia-Pacific region, is now our American colleagues are actively moving “Indo-Pacific”. As the term “order-based rules” have come into use, and “Indo-Pacific strategy.”

We discussed the relation not to some term a certain name or concept, and the relation of Russia and India besides how to build cooperation on a multilateral basis in our common region. Approaches practically coincide. India and Russia do not support attempts to use the concept of Indo-Pacific strategies in order to create a confrontational configuration in this region. We believe it is important to continue cooperation based on multilateral structures that have already been created under the proactive Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). There is the ASEAN Regional forum for security (ARF), a special mechanism for meetings between defence Ministers of ASEAN countries and partners of the Association (“SMPA-plus”). There is such important tool, as the East Asia summit, where you can review all the questions without exception. From this point of view was very useful to understand that India’s position is almost identical.

Another thing is that terminology still leaves questions. I have already asked the question to our American and Japanese colleagues, you can also ask the Australians (USA, Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea – the main engines of this concept), does the replacement of the word “Asia-Pacific” to “Indo-Pacific” region that all of East Africa will participate in the process of a new cooperation. The answer is no. Does this mean that the Persian Gulf will be part of these discussions, because it is the Indian ocean. Either. It turns out, the participants – all those who were within APR, but only in their circle, someone would like to draw the dividing line. That’s what was going on. Do not hide those who are promoting this concept. It was important to make sure that our Indian friends understand this.

Question: What is Russia’s view on repeated attempts of discussions on Kashmir in the UN security Council?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: We have always advocated that the Kashmir issue was resolved in direct negotiations between India and Pakistan in accordance with the declarations and agreements that the two sides took. This position we occupied, and when someone offers to discuss the topic of Kashmir in the UN bodies.

Question: How, in Your opinion, the crisis between Iran and the United States would affect the peace process in Afghanistan?

Sergey Lavrov: I Think that the aggravation of relations between Iran and the United States probably will not help resolve any crisis in the region at least, simply because the tension will increase. The tragedy with the plane of the Ukrainian airlines – a serious call and a signal to still start practicing deescalation, not constant threats, flights of combat aviation in the region.

In practical terms, we know that the United States in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRA) is one of the main players. They lead a coalition, have troops in IRA resumed and are in talks with the Taliban. We support that. We believe that it is very important that agreement was reached, which then will allow to start negotiations between all Afghans. It’s the condition that put the Taliban, and which was adopted. We try to help in this process. In parallel with their own contacts with the Taliban, which we encourage accords and the transition to a direct dialogue with other political forces of Afghanistan, we have a tripartite channel of communication with the Americans and the Chinese, who recently joined Pakistan. We believe that it would be very correct if not only the US, China, Russia and Pakistan in this informal circle, exchanging ideas on how to promote settlement, but that the Iranian side is connected to this format. In principle, it would be possible. This way, as I understand it, the anti-Iran charged the United States and the reluctance of Iran in this situation is to communicate with the Americans to help them in any matter.

From all points of view, we need to deescalate the relationship between the US and Iran, but this will require statesmanship. As soon as these relations can get out from a dangerous level if Washington will continue to be publicly in all the sins of the region to accuse only Iran. Which country take, everywhere to blame Iran. Everywhere Washington demands that Iran stop any steps towards development of relations and influence. This is unrealistic. All the countries of this and other regions have their own interests. They are projecting them on to their friends and neighbors. Most importantly, these interests have advanced the legitimate ways. This, unfortunately, does not always happen. Look at the illegal presence of the antiterrorist coalition in Eastern Syria that is in fact fuelling separatist sentiment. It is, in fact, a serious problem. So you better all be at the negotiating table.

Iran, as You know, at first proposed to conclude a non-aggression Treaty between Iran and the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, then made of Hormuz peace initiative to cooperate to ensure security in these areas. We have a similar approach. I mentioned in my opening remarks, we put forward the Concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf and the surrounding areas. Have in mind not only the need to gather at one table all the coastal countries of the Persian Gulf, Arabs and Iranians, but also to reinforce their efforts with the participation of external players. Referring to the League of Arab States (LAS), the Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC), “five” permanent members of the UN Security Council, the European Union (EU). I think that this configuration could be running a job, relatively speaking, the conference on security and confidence in the region. If this process will begin, subsequently, it could connect to other countries in the region, if to take wider, other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Unfortunately, the contradictions between the individual Arab Gulf States and the Iranians too deep. In our contacts with Saudi Arabia, with the United Arab Emirates and by the Iranians advocate that they started a dialogue. It seems that the sense is present, but we have not yet been able to convince our friends to start such work.

Question: I wanted to ask about the Ukrainian “Boeing”. Last week was a lot of discussion. Comparing the Iranian and the Russian approach in connection with flight MH17 is not entirely in a positive way. Do You agree with the opinion of M. Simonyan, in this case Iran acted “like a man” in contrast to other countries, including Russia?

Wanted to ask about the position of the Russian foreign Ministry last week. Different to the last representatives of the Ministry held the line that it is the fruit of disinformation in the West. Although it is actually quite a lot of evidence, without access to the intelligence even to the naked eye it was obvious that something happened there, at a height of 2.5 thousand meters. It turns out that it wasn’t true. Do You see any reason to apologize to the families of people who died?

S. V. Lavrov: I do Not remember that the Russian foreign Ministry officially said that the version that the plane was shot down, is misinformation. You can refute me, if You have the facts there.

Question: I think someone commented on Your Deputy S. Ryabkov.

Foreign Minister Lavrov: We did not and could not do any official statements. We only advocated that the truth be established. How, exactly, do we want to achieve the truth in relation to the Malaysian “Boeing”. Answering the previous question, I mentioned the tragedy of the Ukrainian plane in connection with the escalating tensions between the US and Iran. Don’t want to justify. It’s human error. The fact that it was unintentional, in my opinion, everyone already knew. To claim compensation is a right for relatives. I think that the Iranian side will consider all applications. They acknowledged that it happened by mistake. I don’t want to convince you that this could not be. Of course, I wish it was not. But the Americans have destroyed in an unprecedented operation that undermines and calls into question all conceivable norms of international law, the commander of the special forces “Quds” corps of the guardians of the Islamic revolution Iran (IRIS) the General Soleimani. The Iranians responded. As we later learned, answered accurately, warning of Iraq. In the media there is a lot of information that Americans had been warned and took note of, took for granted. But there is information that after this attack, the Iranians were expecting another attack on the United States, did not know in what form, but in the airspace right on the border of Iran were at least six F-35 fighter. This information, which is subject to verification. But I want to emphasize nervousness, which is always present in such situations.

About what is the Iranian approach is the Russian approach, I honestly don’t understand what difference You mean. Once again I want to emphasize that we are the same as in the case of the Ukrainian “Boeing”, I want to be clear with the Malaysian “Boeing”. Let me remind You some things that our colleagues, in particular, the Dutch, trying not to say. First, Russia was one of the sponsors of resolution 2166 of the UN security Council, which contained requirements to ensure the investigation, in strict accordance with the norms of International civil aviation organization (ICAO). I am not going to give examples of what rules had to be observed, but they are not respected. Resolution 2166 of the UN security Council, among other things, required those who engaged in the investigation regularly reported to the UN security Council. There was not a single report. Formed a Joint investigative group (SSG) in the Ukraine, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium.

Malaysia, whose “Boeing” was shot down, nobody was invited. Invited her only three months to participate in a group in a criminal investigation, though she has already participated in the group to clarify technical details. By the way, if we had a claim, and could we invite to SSG. We were not expected, not wanted, but we actively cooperated: all requested at some point we have representatives of SSG, established in the Netherlands, we did. We even made a full-scale demonstration. Concern “Almaz-Antey”, which produces the same SAM “Buk”, from which, as claimed, and was shot down, this aircraft showed how this can happen in real life, in a real situation. Provided the data from the radar, and the initial data. In response to our question about where the data from Ukrainian radars, the answer is strange – they are not. Then someone said that the radar has been turned off inadvertently. All the radars that Ukraine watched that part of the airspace at some point “off”. Just as turned off the camcorder for the first half of the day when Skrypali was found on a Park bench. Just a video camera that was watching their house were turned off, and then joined. There is no answer to the question of why not fully published details of negotiations of the Ukrainian dispatchers, which were conducted that day. Now suddenly five years after the disaster, the tragedy published some telephone recordings of conversations between the Russian representatives and the representatives of Donbass. Five years looking for the phone records. A Ukrainian air traffic controllers? There is no need to look for anything! These records must be presented to the world. Don’t want to. The question arises, where the data from American satellites? It was mentioned that they are.

You know what’s fun? When Malaysia was not invited from the outset to participate in this investigation, four countries who have come together with Ukraine (they don’t have to talk about it, but we do know), initially agreed between themselves that any information that will go outside, must be approved by all four members of this group, including Ukraine. Dutch parliamentarians have asked the government a question about why after all this investigation Ukraine asks the question about the reasons why it wasn’t closed airspace, the Dutch government is silent. A lot of issues. When the Dutch result, despite the fact that we gave everything we could in response to their requests, publicly declared (as it allows itself to my colleague, the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Netherlands C. Unit) that Russia had not cooperated with the investigation, we require from them what they did, and ask on what basis such statements are made. You know, what is the answer? “Russia is not cooperating because she pleaded not guilty”.

Australia and the Netherlands suggested that we should consult. We agreed on the understanding, and it was agreed that we will consider all the issues that interest us. We will answer their questions additionally. But all of what I just said, we want to discuss with them. They are moving away from this and trying to present everything in such a way that the investigation is not finished, but we are to blame, and they say, let’s start talking about compensation. So themselves “men” are who? Don’t know? I don’t think.

So when to the topic, the topic Skrobala, chemical weapons in Syria fit with the logic of “Haile likli” is that same story with which we began today’s conversation, when, instead of inventing rules of international law that are convenient to yourself, and force others to believe it.

M. V. Zakharov: If I may, given that it sounded a wrong quote of S. A. Ryabkov, I will quote what he said because otherwise we give rise to misinterpretations.

S. V. Lavrov: Lies, let’s just say I will.

M. V. Zakharov: Jan 10, S. G. S. A. Ryabkov in Tokyo said the following, direct quote: “I am deeply convinced that trying to “weld” political points on this horrific human tragedy impossible. It is necessary to give the specialists to analyze the situation and draw certain conclusions, and to start some games at least, unworthy”. According to him, again a direct quote: “no reason not to at this stage to make loud statements.” End quote.

Question: a few days would only be one year before the expiration of the start-3. President Vladimir Putin and You say that from the other side of the Atlantic there are no signals and it is not yet clear – to extend the Contract or not. But things are changing. Perhaps Russia more aggressively sends signals to Washington that it is time to deal with this problem?

S. V. Lavrov: Yes, I discussed it during the first trip to Washington in 2017 and now in December 2019. Yesterday, the Deputy foreign Minister S. A. Ryabkov also discussed it with U.S. Deputy Secretary of state K. Ford. Americans do not give a definitive answer and trying to hang. “Hanging,” they always introduce the topic of connecting people’s Republic of China to these negotiations, although we have many times explained our position. The Russian President repeatedly stated: if there is consent of all parties to certain multilateral negotiating process, we will participate in it. If Americans believe that without China it’s pointless to continue, and China will want, we also have to participate. But the people’s Republic of China many times officially declared that will not participate in such negotiations, explaining that the structure of the nuclear forces of China is radically different from nuclear forces of the United States and the Russian Federation. We said that we respect this position of the PRC and will not force China to change it. Why and how can you make? But US why-that are convinced that we must take on the role to persuade China to respond to the US proposal. I think that it’s an incomprehensible sentence. The US has well-established channels of dialogue with China. Just signed an agreement on trade.

So confirm again: we fully respect the position of China. If at some point some configuration of multilateral negotiations will be all agreed, we will participate in it. But it takes time, and if ripe, in principle, the political conditions will be the commitment to multilateral process, the negotiations themselves is not even months and the expiration of the start Treaty expires in a year in February. President V. V. Putin proposed to President D. Trump and Secretary of state M. Pompeo, when he came to Sochi in may of this year, at least to agree on the extension of this Contract, that there was some kind of “safety net” while they attempt to establish new multilateral negotiation process. It is our position and it remains in force. We act, and the President of Russia confirmed it again in the fall at a meeting with leaders of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, for extension of start-3 without any preconditions. I hope that the Americans heard us. Many times we talked about this, but until a clear and coherent signals, we do not see.

Question: As you know, from 2021 to 2023 Russia will chair the Arctic Council. What preparatory work is carried out? What is the role of our Northern Arctic regions, in particular the Yamal? How effective, from Your point of view, our Arctic agenda?

S. V. Lavrov: I Think that our Arctic agenda is quite full. It is the result of work of a large interagency team. It reflects the interests of our security, navigation, economic, energy, environmental protection, rights of indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples participate in the Arctic Council. There is a special format. They regularly present and speak at the Ministerial sessions. In principle, the Arctic Council is one of the few institutions that is protected from the indoctrination and politicization. There are taken very important decisions on cooperation in emergency situations, in particular, God forbid, in the event of a spill of oil, on scientific cooperation, the regulation of fishing in the Arctic ocean and a number of other solutions. There is no reason to bring in the Arctic military methods. In this regard, we consider it wrong to attempt to drag NATO into this region, at high latitudes, but we want to resume the former practice when he met the chiefs of General staffs of the armed forces of the countries of the Arctic Council solely in order to provide the proper level of confidence. We now propose to resume these meetings, starting maybe with the consultation of experts.

The Arctic Council operates. Our agenda will be to ensure continuity. Now the Council is headed by Iceland. We are in regular contact, will continue to meet with the Minister. Closer to 2021 will be to formulate a specific agenda that will allow you to smoothly continue the process agreed between all participants in the economy, in the sphere of climate protection, environmental protection in General and, of course, ensure the living conditions of indigenous peoples as comfortable as possible manner.

Question: first of all, from myself and from the collective “Sputnik” Estonia would like to thank the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Embassy of Russia in Estonia and M. V. Zakharov for the support and assistance you have given to the group “Sputnik” in Estonia at this difficult time for us. For his colleagues in the room will remind that the authorities of Estonia intend to bring criminal charges against employees of “Sputnik” in Estonia. Us faces up to five years in prison for the fact that we work in MIA “Russia today”. In this regard most of our employees have been forced since January 1 this year to terminate the employment contracts that they are not planted. But I hope for further assistance of the Ministry of foreign Affairs.

Yesterday Your colleague from the Estonian foreign Minister U. Reinsalu, discussing the horrible situation with Russian journalists, said that actually, it is, quote, “related to the protection of the defence of Europe and freedom.” Ie we need to put in jail that Europe was free. I would like to hear Your comment.

In connection with the rhetoric and, to put it mildly, undiplomatic statements are not only members of the Estonian Government, but the President of this country in relation to Russia, what do You think, did Vladimir Putin the opportunity of the arrival by invitation of K. Kaljulaid Finno-Ugric Congress this year to Estonia? You received an invitation from U. Reinsalu to take part in the celebration dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Tartu Treaty?

Sergey Lavrov: You brought the facts, which are unlikely to require detailed review. As regards the specific actions in respect of “Sputnik”, then I think that’s outrageous. In fact, we routinely required a reaction from the OSCE. From the Council of Europe sounded more or less judgmental tirade. Pay attention to the EU that it is their members speak on issues that are contrary to the declared and protected by the values of Europe. The fact that the EU is “swallows” and can’t do anything, this is just another stain on the reputation of the European Union. Such spots we already saw a lot. I have already mentioned the causes of the Ukrainian crisis.

I am worried that in the EU leading countries, in particular, our French colleagues, with enviable persistence promote initiatives about how to categorize media and define who can be considered the media, and who will be designated as a propaganda tool. I think that it is one “of a feather” – what happens to you in a practical way, and what is now conceptually driven around in high offices.

As for Estonian statements and speeches. My colleague has repeatedly stated that the border Treaty will not be ratified, because it cancels the Tartu Treaty, and the Pechora district should return to Estonian jurisdiction. About the President of Estonia, she asked about the reception in Moscow, and Vladimir Putin have met her. It seemed to me that it adequately assessed the situation, saying that we are neighbours, we certainly have disagreements, but we need to dobrososedstva. Apparently, something happened to her after returning to his capital. Sad, because we never left from the cooperation with our colleagues. The only us and international law to them was the demand to end the shameful phenomenon of statelessness, which is yet another stain on the reputation of the European Union. There is a small progress – at least begin to give citizenship by birth. But, nevertheless, still far from the standards must meet European values.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure will not be perfect.

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