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Exclusive: As the post-coup regime in Ukraine sends troops and paramilitaries to crack down on ethnic Russian protesters in the east, the U.S. news media continues to feed the American public a steady dose of anti-Russian propaganda, often wrapped in accusations of “Russian propaganda,” Robert Parry reports.

The acting president of the coup regime in Kiev announces that he is ordering an “anti-terrorist” operation against pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine, while his national security chief says he has dispatched right-wing ultranationalist fighters who spearheaded the Feb. 22 coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Foreign ministers of the Caspian states have held a conference in preparation of the Fourth Caspian Summit, which will be held this year in the Russian Federation.

We reviewed the course of work on the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea and stated significant progress, which was reached also in the process of today’s negotiations. I would like to sincerely thank my colleagues and all the experts for their contribution to this significant progress.

We reviewed draft documents many of which have been developed and which are planned to be approved at the Fourth Caspian Summit. We devoted special attention to the implementation of the assignments accepted at the Baku summit in 2010. First of all, these are issues related to the delimitation of water spaces. Our positions became significantly closer on this topic. The second assignment from leaders of our countries is related to the measures to preserve the population of endangered fish. Today we discussed the progress of work on the respective intergovernmental agreement.

As the standoff in the eastern Ukraine deteriorates into violence it’s up to world powers to step in and calm things down. Despite tough talk from Washington, the US, EU, Russia and Ukraine have managed to reach a framework to peace in Geneva. But will it be enough to avert a civil war? Sophie asks the Russian Foreign minister himself – Sergey Lavrov is on Sophie&Co today.

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Sophie Shevardnadze: Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign minister, it’s great to have you on our show today.

 

Sergey Lavrov: Thank you for the invitation.

SS: So, just the other day Joe Biden on his visit to Kiev said that time is short for Russia to make progress on its commitments made in Geneva. What is expected of Russia?

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen!

We have ended our meeting on the situation in Ukraine, which continued the series of contacts between the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and me. This time we gathered together with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, and the Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Andrii Deshchytsia. Like during our meetings with John Kerry in the bilateral format, our partners prefer separate press conferences. Therefore, I am alone with you, but they will tell about their impressions about the results of this meeting individually.

We approved a document – Geneva Statement of April 17, 2014, in which we agreed that we need to take primary and specific steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security of all Ukrainian nationals. We agreed that all sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. We strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism. These are very topical requirements in terms of the events in Ukraine in the last months.

I recently re-visited Serbia on a business trip. In Belgrade, as usual, the people live a modest life. The only pleasure which the Serbs have never denied themselves, and apparently will not give up, is a chat over a cup of coffee in the numerous and very cozy cafes . They are always

An event of great importance took place in the cultural life of Sacramento, out of the meetings and memories of companionship and a passion to do something good, the play "Through the looking glass" was born. Our compatriots: diplomats and programmers, teachers and musicians, interpreters and just wonderful people, became its creators. The story, direction, props, musical parts, and the ensembled cast, were all the offspring of the creative community living and working close to each other, but far from the Russia of their fellow citizens. For many of them, the play was their first experience on stage, and for some the stage was once a second home. When we lived together in a country called the Soviet Union, and read almost the same books, the constant companion of our youth was the "Scarlet Sails" by Alexander Grin.

I think the Geneva meeting was a belated realization of something the ex-president Viktor Yanukovich suggested doing back in November 2013, when the first scandals around his refusal to sign the Associsation Agreement with the EU erupted. At the time (which looks like a distant epoche now) he suggested TRILATERAL negotiations between Ukraine, the EU and Russia, to sort out all the differences. The EU then refused, saying that Russia was one party too many at the talks. The coup d'etat, the takeover of Crimea and the Ukrainian East's own Maidan became consequences of this refusal to (tri)dialogue. In Geneva, there was not only a trilateral meeting, but one more important party joined - the United States. But there is agian one more party still missing - the representatives of the East Ukrainian protesters. This time, Russia suggested their participation and the US said it was one party too many. That means that the protest in Eastern Ukraine will continue, since the grievances of these people won't be addressed. (Why? Because the registered desire of the Geneva meeting to "disarm all the illegal armed formations" will be interpreted by the Ukrainian government as being directed against the pro-Russian protesters in the East in the first place. And the promise of "inclusive" constitution is too vague to include what the protesters want - federalization and more rights for the Russian language). By refusing to see the REAL grievances of Russian-speaking Ukrainians (and Russians before them), the Western partners of Ukraine multiply the number of aggrieved parties. And each time they finally agree to let the "unloved" party to access the talks (like they agreed to invite the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to Geneva), it is already too late. By that time, the situation degenerates further, with new aggrieved sides appearing in bad need to have their voice at the talks (again denied by the EU and the US). The conflict in the East of Ukraine won't stop, until the Western parties learn to see it as a genuine protest and not a Russian “incursion.”

Question: Hello, Sergey Viktorovich. I feel that now you are not just a Minister of Foreign Affairs, but a Minister of Military Affairs. Every time I see and hear you, I sense a tremendous concern and think the world has gone mad. My generation does not remember such a level of escalation. What is really happening?

Sergey Lavrov: I think that the entire world system is being reformatted, because after the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact disappeared, those whom we call “the West” lost their historical opportunities, when Russia proposed several initiatives, which would not only allow them to truly unite the European continent, but also the Euro-Atlantic region, including Eurasia. There were propositions to make the OSCE the centre of such work on the basis of equality of all countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We had some very productive negotiations with my Angolan colleague George Chicoti, which were held in the traditionalatmosphere of trust and mutual understanding between our countries.

We appreciate the high level of relations with Angola – Russia’s time-proven friend and partner. We are glad that this country has convincingly settled down to a course of independent and sustainable national development.

We discussed issues on our bilateral agenda, having devoted special attention to the development of trade and economic ties, which have gained in good dynamics and are developing according to the agreements, including high-level agreements, which were concluded in 2009.

Ukrainian Government Retakes Buildings Occupied by Secessionists

 

Top News: The Ukrainian government in Kiev said this morning that they had regained control over government buildings seized yesterday by pro-Russian separatists in Kharkiv. Government buildings in the eastern