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An interview of the President of the Union of Oil and Gas Operators of Russia, Yuri Shafranik, to the magazine “International Life”   

‒ Yuri Konstantinovitch, how would You like to describe the actual state of the relations between the Federation of Russia and the EU? What is the real damage caused by the sanctions to Russia?
‒ I’d like to cover this topic from some other side. In the first place you should correctly assess the foregoing trends. In 1990-th we were living through a great calamity, the disintegration of a great state. This had an enormous impact on us, as politically, as much as economically. But looking at 2000-th, in case of any aggravation of the relations and in controversies with the West all the opponents may put their signature under the phrase: “Russiawas consequently integrating into the political and economic institutions of the world”. 

Asiatic-Pacific front. Korea, 1945. The Japanese Imperial army had been defeated. The Korean peninsula had just been divided along the 38th Parallel into two zones of influence: American and Soviet. The Allies guarding the border were so close to each other; the mutual interest was as intense as at the Elbe in Europe, though it was not as broadly publicized. The National Archives stores a photo, taken in Korea on September 12, 1945.

THE TITLE needs a question mark. Indeed, did the Big Three halt a step away from global cooperation? How many mines were laid under the alliance and partnership and when? Natalia Narochnitskaia once said that "Yalta and counter-Yalta were born together."

“Never in my life there has been any experience to meet, in any nation, a person, who might so ardently and passionately love his motherland, as Griboedov loved Russia”, - Faddey Bulgarin spoke of his friend, whose activities enormously influenced the development of the Russian culture. Later on the author of immortal comedy “The Mischief of Being Clever” will say: “The more educated a person is, the more useful he is to his motherland”.  Precisely the ardent patriotic feeling for Russia went with Aleksandr Sergueevich Griboedov during all the dynamic and turbulent life of “one of the most intelligent persons of Russia” of the nineteenth century, as it was expressed by A.S. Pushkin.

On March 26, 1944, after the battles, which had been conducted at the territory of the Central and Western Ukraine, the red Army approached theriverofPrut, State border between theUSSRandRomania. A multimedia exhibition: “Crimes of Nazism. The liberation mission of the Red Army inEurope”, organized be the Russian Military Historical Society, is dedicated to this unforgettable date in the history of the Great Patriotic War. The exhibition is based on documentary evidences regarding terrible, dramatic and heroic events of the war.

Let’s assume that the Cold War had a different end: The Soviet Union prevailed, and the United States withdrew from Western Europe and even disbanded NATO.

Let’s assume that – in spite of the eclipse of the US-NATO threat – the Soviet Union, on other hand, decided to keep the Warsaw Pact in existence, albeit with new members.

Let’s assume that ever since 1990, the reconstituted Warsaw Pact expanded, first, into Western Europe and the Western and Southern Balkans and then into the Western Hemisphere with such new members as Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Britain, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and also Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, and Guatemala. By the way: Let’s also assume that the Soviet Union proposed a Warsaw Pact anti-missile system in Cuba, purely as a defensive measure against “global terrorism”.

MANY PEOPLE still wonder why Angela Merkel performed her "U-turn over the Atlantic" toward Washington. Indeed, there should be reasons which forced her to abandon the eastern political vector in favor of a center of power which, while retaining appearances, is losing real instruments of global governance.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to our annual meeting on Russia’s diplomatic performance.

The situation last year was more complicated than previously, as new dangerous seats of tensions complemented several smouldering

Question: The year is drawing to a close. It’s been a critical, difficult and complicated year. What are our main achievements on the international front? What has our country accomplished?

Sergey Lavrov: Speaking about achievements – though we usually assess our work in terms of effectiveness, not successes – I would single out the fact that we have managed to draw attention to the need to build a new multilateral and multipolar international system. The idea is not so new: its foundations are enshrined in the UN Charter, which sets down the principle of consensus among the leading states within the Security Council (I mean its permanent members) and collective security, i.e. collective efforts to overcome any risks and threats facing the whole humankind.

The last months of 2014 were marked by a series of significant bilateral agreements and summits involving Russia, India and China. According to many international analysts, the research of better relations with the two Asian giants by Moscow represents another further step