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On June 29, under the chairmanship of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, a meeting of the Collegium of the Russian Foreign Ministry was held on the topic “The European Direction of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation.”

The Collegium gave a comprehensive assessment of the current situation in Europe, analyzed the alignment of forces taking into account the current state of international relations, considered the prospects for the development of the region with an emphasis on domestic political, demographic, integration and socio-economic aspects. Particular attention is paid to cooperation on the platform of key multilateral structures operating in the region, such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe (CoE), as well as the prospects for the evolution of relations with the European Union and NATO.

The emphasis was placed on the recently intensified tendency towards the degradation of the military-political situation in Europe, primarily in the context of the militarization of NATO’s eastern “flank” and the erosion of conventional and strategic arms control regimes in Europe. The counterproductiveness of the line of Western countries on building a new geopolitical reality according to their interests, promoting the concept of a “world order based on rules” in order to squeeze with its help the existing collectively approved international legal norms headed by the UN Charter, was noted. The unacceptability of attempts to turn the Council of Europe, OSCE and their institutions into an instrument for the implementation of the mentioned concept was emphasized. Attention is drawn to the use by the countries and structures of the EU and NATO of unilateral instruments of sanctions, provocations and propaganda campaigns, and other forms of interference in the internal affairs of Russia and its allies. Separately, they noted the unpunished persecution in the European Union of journalists of Russian and Russian-language media in the Baltic states under the pretext of fighting “Russian disinformation”. At the meeting of the Collegium, an exchange of views took place on the current and promising mechanisms for responding to the aforementioned hostile manifestations.

The ways of establishing targeted cooperation in areas that meet Russian interests are considered. It was emphasized that the formation of a long-term, stable and predictable model of good-neighborly relations on the European continent, in particular in the regions of common neighborhood, is possible only on conditions of strict observance of the balance of interests, the development of a broad dialogue between regional multilateral, incl. integration associations, on a truly equal basis in accordance with political commitments made in the 1990s at the highest level, including the principle of the indivisibility of security, which the West is now abandoning to fulfill. The need to take into account and respect the historical political, humanitarian and economic ties between Russia and its neighbors is highlighted.

The ways of ensuring all-round protection of civil, linguistic and cultural rights, as well as the legitimate interests of citizens of the Russian Federation and compatriots living in European countries, the Russian-speaking population, as well as Russian and Russian-language media, were discussed. The Collegium stressed the inadmissibility of falsifying episodes of European history that are sensitive for Russia and ignoring attempts to glorify Nazism.

Also, the Collegium considered the issue “On the preparation of institutions of the Ministry system for the holding of elections of deputies of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of a new convocation on September 19, 2021”.

The key directions of the Ministry’s activities for the period of the election campaign were identified.

It was noted that the subdivisions and diplomatic missions of the Ministry are ready to create all the necessary conditions for the realization by citizens abroad of their constitutional right. Appropriate organizational and technical measures are being taken to ensure the electoral process in a difficult epidemiological situation. In a number of states, taking into account national legislation, foreign missions are taking steps to organize early voting, open polling stations outside the premises of embassies and consulates.

Measures have been agreed to maximize the involvement of Russian voters abroad in the electoral process. Priority will be given to timely notification of voters, incl. when using the media and Internet platforms of the RZU.

The issues of compliance with coronavirus restrictions, taking due security measures for participants in the electoral process, as well as foreign observers invited to observe the elections to the State Duma were discussed.

The Chairperson of the Central Election Commission of Russia E.A. Pamfilova spoke at the meeting.




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

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