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On March 13th 2013 the Conclave crowned Jorge Mario Bergoglio new Pope of the Catholic Church. The seventy-six year old Argentinian, whose parents are originated from the Italian region Piedmont, since 1998 archbishop of

Dear deputies,

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Ministry of Education and Science, as a head government agency, is actively working on the problems our children face when they are adopted by foreign citizens.

In accordance with the Family Code of the Russian Federation, consulate employees abroad keep account of minor Russian citizens who were adopted by Russian citizens who are constantly residing abroad, or by foreign citizens or persons without citizenship. These data are updated on-line, however, not all adopters submit a request to register their child with the consulate. Therefore, we are currently including the request concerned into our agreements regarding cooperation in the sphere of international adoption we conclude with foreign countries.

Russian foreign representative offices informs the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia about all cases of the violation of rights and rightful interests of adopted children and immediately start dealing with practical steps to clarify what is going on with the specific child.

In his book, "On China," Henry Kissinger tried to identify on a world map the most explosive point that could trigger World War III. In his view, the main threat arises out of a tangle of contradictions about the political future of Pakistan and its regional environment. However events on the Korean Peninsula bring us back to the old, unhealed wounds of history and a relapse is dangerous and unpredictable.

Coming out of the armistice agreement, the DPRK returned the separated parts of the country to a de jure state of war. The question of whether or not there would be a unified Korean state was loudly discussed on both sides of the now almost arbitrary boundary. However these days talk about union are only in the context of mutual military threats. And Seoul does not keep it secret that it will be supported by a broad coalition of forces, primarily the United States.

Is it possible to separate the rhetoric from the real intentions of the parties in these mutual threats?

The sexual revolution in Europe has naturally evolved into a homosexual revolution.

The lower house of the French Parliament has reacted favorably to the adoption of the law on same-sex marriage and the adoption of children by homosexual couples. Then officials in Paris began to exert increasing pressure on Russia demanding that they review the Russian legislation, in which marriage is recognized only if it is committed between a man and a woman.

March 17th is the most important say of the year for the Irish and for Irish communities all around the world. It is the official day of the Patron Saint of Ireland, St Patrick. But these days it is famous not so much for religious reasons, than for the party atmosphere it heralds, when vast quantities of stout are consumed (a traditional dark Irish beer, the most famous of which is Guinness) in celebration of the man who is considered to have converted the pagan Irish Celts to Christianity.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We share the satisfaction expressed by Mr William Hague regarding the launch of the UK-Russia Strategic Dialogue in the “two plus two” format agreed between the President Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister David Cameron. Today we honestly and constructively discussed our bilateral relations, as well as a range of regional and international problems. We tried not to smooth out the bumps, but rather to review even the most complex issues openly and as partners – be it concerns in the field of human rights or slow progress in the solution of issues regarding extradition of some Russian citizens who are subject to persecution and are in the UK now. I will repeat, this absolutely does not prevent us from seeing common interest in a whole range of critical issues, the resolution of which conditions peace within and around Europe.

Question: Taken into account the events in Venezuela, I was reminded of the scene when Hugo Chavez gathered all the presidents of Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America and introduced them to the President of Russia. Will the death of Hugo Chavez have a negative impact on the relationship with this community rather than on the Russia-Venezuela interaction?

S.V.Lavrov: First of all, we need to attend to the fate of Venezuela and support Venezuelan people during this difficult time. According to our estimations (and this is confirmed by the recent buyout polls in Venezuela), the majority of the population - more that 60 percent - favours the continuation of the policy initiated by Hugo Chavez. Now there is an elaboration of new legal issues that will determine how things in the political process will develop in the framework of constitution and the decisions taken by the Constitutional Court. Of course, we wish the Venezuelan people to make the choice that meets their aspirations and interests of strengthening our strategic partnership.

Question:

 Sergey Viktorovich, you are in London next week for this new strategic dialogue meeting between Russia and Britain. Is this a sign that the relationship between Britain and Russia is continuing to improve, do you think?

Sergey Lavrov: I would say so. The relations have been developing on the positive lately. This was reflected during the meeting between President V.Putin and Prime Minister D.Cameron, when they met last summer. And the decision of the two leaders to create this new 2+2 format, I think, is a reflection that we both like to continue the improvement of our relationship.

Discussions in this format have become a heart-warming tradition. Today we have some sort of an anniversary – we meet for the tenth time in these years.

We constantly talk of how much cooperation is important and take appropriate steps to deepen it. Life itself encourages us to do that, as well as the Order of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, called “On Measures to Implement the Foreign Policy Course of the Russian Federation” of 7 May 2012, emphasizing that the involvement of the civil society into the foreign policy process, the support of extensive participation of foreign policy-oriented non-governmental organizations in the activity of different international expert and political science forums and dialogs is a logical process.

There is an ongoing debate in the post-Soviet era countries on the prospect of the Eurasian Union. Even in those states, which do not intend to join in the near future, or even to join in the accession negotiations. This, of course, shows the importance of the problems of integration between the heirs of the former USSR.

However heated the debate is, there is little doubt that the Eurasian Union will still be created and will become the center of attraction for the post-Soviet era states. Meanwhile the real negotiations are only between the countries of the Customs Union - Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. In terms of the formation of a new geopolitical unit, this will be beneficial and significant not only in Eurasia, but also around the world.