05 | 12 | 2019

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel at the German side’s initiative.

While discussing the settlement in Ukraine, the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of strict compliance with the Minsk package of measures and the agreements reached during top-level meetings in the Normandy format. This, first and foremost, deals with the implementation of the Steinmeier formula in Ukrainian legislation, and a disengagement of forces and weapons in the agreed sections of the line of contact near Zolotoye and Petrovskoye. Kiev refuses to withdraw its units and military equipment from under various pretexts.

We have noted the detailed version of the US Department of State Report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments (Compliance Report). We would like to make the following points.

The United States has no legal, moral or political right to assess compliance with these commitments by other countries under bilateral or multilateral agreements and treaties. Each international agreement in this area has its own thorough mechanisms for monitoring compliance. In some cases specialised international agencies are established for this purpose. The US striving to take over this role has no grounds whatsoever and cannot be used as a pretext for making any conclusions.

By Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for “Russia in Global Politics” magazine, September 20, 2019

These days, the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly opens up. So does a new international “political season”.

The session begins at a highly symbolic historical moment. Next year we will celebrate two great and interconnected anniversaries – the 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic and Second World Wars, and the establishment of the UN. Reflecting on the spiritual and moral significance of these landmark events, one needs to bear in mind the epoch-making political meaning of the Victory that ended one of the most brutal wars in the history of mankind.

A unified election day took place across Russia’s 85 federal subjects on September 8. Sixteen regions elected governors, while the remainder elected their municipal and city parliaments.

Election took place against the backdrop of a difficult socio-economic situation in the country as well as substantial changes in general mood among the citizens, which have long been recorded by sociologists.

Public anger over more than five years of falling incomes and an unpopular hike in the pension age along with other cannibalistic reforms stubbornly executed by the government caused a severe distrust to power which had resulted in descent of the Russia‘s ruling United Russia (UR) party’s support.

On September 18, the US Embassy in Moscow was where the delivery ceremony took place of 16 valuable historical documents, which had been stolen from Russian archives in the 1990s and eventually surfaced in the United States. The event was attended by representatives of the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Federal Customs Service of Russia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. These documents include the executive orders on the awarding of imperial decorations (orders) signed by Emperor Nicholas II, which were issued in one copy and were never published.

We view the agreed reciprocal release of persons held in custody on the territories of Russia and Ukraine as a positive signal to be followed by other important steps to overcome the current deadlock in Russia-Ukraine relations and in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

It was made possible by fulfilling the agreements reached personally by the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Unlike its predecessors, Vladimir Zelensky’s administration showed a reasonable approach and readiness to compromise.

On September 3, Russia marks the Day of Solidarity in the Fight Against Terrorism. People around the country commemorate the victims of terrorist attacks, including law enforcement officers who died during counterterrorist operations and on duty.

This commemorative date was established following the tragic events that occurred in September 2004, when 334 people, mostly children, died in a terrorist attack on a school in Beslan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Abkhazian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company for a documentary about former President Sergey Bagapsh of the Republic of Abkhazia, Moscow, August 26, 2019

Sergey Bagapsh and I were acquainted quite closely. We met and became friends even before 2008, in 2005, when Mr Bagapsh was elected Abkhazia’s second president and engaged, among other things, in issues related to the political settlement process as part of the talks, at which Abkhazia sought to secure the language, socioeconomic and other rights of its citizens. As is clear, this process was launched in the wake of the war that had been fought in the early 1990s. It was proceeding with difficulty because the Georgian leaders were putting forward ultimatum-like demands and at some stage departed from the idea of forming a confederation, which could have proved a success. But in any case, Mr Bagapsh was involved in contacts aimed at finding a generally acceptable settlement. These efforts were dashed in 2008, when Mikheil Saakashvili ordered that aggressive action be taken against his own citizens and, in fact, demonstrated his intention to bend the Abkhazians and South Ossetians to his will within the framework of what was actually a unitary state, rather than to come to terms with them on some forms of cohabitation. During those troublesome days in August 2008, Mr Bagapsh showed himself a real statesman and a politician fully conscious of his responsibility before his people and his country and capable of standing by his word. These are very important qualities that were generally inherent in this wonderful man.

Question: Could you comment on the US cruise missile test?

Sergey Lavrov: We have made a comment already. We said that this was being prepared for a long time, long before August 2, when the legal obligations of the parties to the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) formally expired.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the opening of the historical and documentary exhibition, “Year 1939: The Outbreak of World War II”, Moscow, August 20, 2019

Colleagues,

Today, we are opening an important historical and documentary exhibition dedicated to the outbreak of World War II. Unique archival documents are presented here, many of which come from the Foreign Ministry’s funds. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Federal Archival Agency, the Russian State Military Archives and the Russian Historical Society, all of which made this exhibition possible.

Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks with Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas

On August 21, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas who is on a working visit to Russia.

This year, Sergey Lavrov and Heiko Maas have met four times – on January 18 when the German minister visited Moscow, on February 15 in Munich at the 55th Munich Security Conference, on May 16 in Helsinki on the sidelines of the Committee of Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe meeting, and on July 18 in Bonn on the sidelines of the 18th meeting of the St Petersburg Dialogue Russian-German Public Forum.

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