MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
Ladies and gentlemen,
We held talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Guatemala and stressed our common commitment to the further development of good, friendly and very promising relations between our countries. We discussed the bilateral agenda and consulted on topical international and regional affairs.
We are bound by long-standing bonds of friendship. Last year we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Today we noted the development of political dialogue in the interests of identifying promising areas of cooperation, and agreed to step up joint work in practical areas.
Despite the situation in the global economy, which is significantly affected coronavirus infection, trade between our countries last year grew by more than 6%. In absolute terms, this is about $ 100 million. Of course, this is not enough, and the potentials of our countries allow us to count on much more impressive results. We agreed on the necessary steps in this direction to diversify trade and economic ties.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, P. Brolo, visited a number of Russian institutions, including State Corporation “Roscosmos”, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Russian Direct Investment Fund and National Committee for the Promotion of Economic Cooperation with Latin American Countries… We also noted in a positive manner the active participation of the delegation of Guatemala, headed by the Minister of Economy in Petersburg International Economic Forum, where he spoke at a special section organized for the countries of Latin America.
Another area that we discussed today will allow us to reveal additional opportunities for expanding economic ties. It is about contacts between Guatemala and Eurasian Economic Union… During his stay in Moscow, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala P. Brolo had contacts with the Eurasian Economic Commission. As I understand it, they will continue. We actively support such contacts.
We have very positive assessments of humanitarian cooperation, incl. in such areas as education, training of civilian personnel, as well as personnel of law enforcement agencies. Guatemalans are enrolled in refresher courses in FSB and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia… Along the line Diplomatic Academy we hold special courses for foreign diplomats every year. Guatemala was already actively represented there. I am confident that this practice will continue to benefit the business.
When we talk about education, about interuniversity exchanges, there is one rather interesting fact. Despite the distance, nine Russian educational institutions have partners among the universities of Guatemala. And this is not only a formal relationship. They actually prepare and implement joint projects. Practical cooperation is being established in the scientific and technical sphere, incl. through interuniversity exchanges.
We are grateful to Guatemala for the kind attitude towards the Russian language, it is taught in the country. Our museums cooperate quite actively, incl. within the framework of the Yu.V. Knorozov Center for the Study of the History and Culture of the Maya, which was created 9 years ago on our initiative and with the active support of Guatemala, which well remembers the contribution of this scientist to the study of the history of the Central American country and its indigenous population.
Regions and sister cities are also a characteristic of Russian-Guatemalan relations. I would like to note the twinning between Sochi and the capital of Guatemala, the city of Guatemala, which is developing very intensively.
We paid much attention to strengthening cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and in the field of health in general. There is a supply contract “Sputnik V”… The first batch arrived in May-June. Today we talked about the need to accelerate the direction of subsequent parties. We will do this.
Conducted an inventory of the legal framework. We agreed to expedite the elaboration of a number of draft agreements, incl. in the spheres of education, customs cooperation, prevention and elimination of emergencies, law enforcement, as well as the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
We have very close positions, which sometimes coincide on the key problems of our time. We are for respect for international law, strengthening the central role of the UN, the formation of a fairer, more democratic system of a polycentric world order. They confirmed that Russia has always viewed Latin America as one of the pillars of such a multipolar world. Of course the principles Of the UN Charter in our deep conviction should underlie all actions of every state in the international arena.
They confirmed our interest in developing cooperation with the Latin American region. The focus was on the political dialogue between Russia and various integration structures of Latin America and the Caribbeanincluding CELAC. Today we have expressed mutual interest not only in constructive cooperation between Russia and the Central American Integration System, but also in codifying this interaction by signing the necessary document. It is currently being developed.
One of these days, from July 1, the chairmanship of the Central American Integration System will pass to Guatemala. We welcome the interest shown by our friends in formalizing Russia’s status in this association. We are ready to promptly complete the cooperation program that will accompany the granting of this status to us.
We also have a positive assessment of the joint work being carried out within the framework of the Central American Parliament. Its headquarters are located in the Guatemalan capital. Under the auspices of this Parliament and with its assistance, a number of large international forums have been held in the last 2-3 years, in the preparation of which the Russian side took an active part. These include events such as the Forum on cybercrime, international information security, space, interaction between Latin American countries and the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as the fight against coronavirus infection.
So I would like to emphasize once again that despite the distance and various logistical difficulties, we have a very rich palette of relationships. We did not have time to tell you everything. We believe that this is a relationship that can serve as a model for many other bilateral partners. We will in every possible way deepen cooperation in all areas.
Question (translated from Spanish): The news concerns European Union. France and Germany proposed the idea of a possible summit with the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. What can be done for this, and what will be Russia’s position?
Foreign Minister Lavrov: We have heard about the proposal of France and Germany to hold a Russia-EU summit. We do not know any other details: what is at stake, what will be the agenda? We also do not know whether all other members of the European Union agree with this. Therefore, our colleagues need to explain what they mean and what they are striving for.
The EU-Russia summits were held every two years and crowned the ramified, rich architecture of relations between Russia and the EU. All architecture, starting with the summits, was destroyed in 2014 for well-known reasons – when the EU resigned itself to an anti-constitutional coup, carried out despite the guarantees of Germany, France and Poland… Since then, none of our colleagues have touched on the topic of the summit in our contacts. Let me remind you that Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President E. Macron, German Chancellor A. Merkel regularly communicate in other formats, but this topic has surfaced for the first time. Why now? Probably, there is some chronological connection with the summit of Vladimir Putin and Dzh.Biden, held in Geneva. Perhaps this was perceived in Europe as a signal that now it is possible for them to show their independence a little. We’ll see. There is a lot that is unclear here. Before reacting specifically, you must understand what it is about. One thing is clear: just a few days ago the EU is approving a new policy towards the Russian Federation, formulated as a “threefold policy” – rebuff, containment and involvement where the EU is interested. If this philosophy is at the heart of the summit initiative, then I would be very interested to see how such a hypothetical event opens up. Immediately there should be “rebuff”, and then “containment”. How it will all fit together is difficult for me to say. Let’s see what this concretely “will result in”, then we will study specifically.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.