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The lectio magitralis of Romano Prodi in Moscow on the 17. March 2016, organised by the journal International Affairs, was one of those events that will be remembered for a long time to come by those who attended and had the chance to meet the former European Commission
International relations have entered a very difficult period, and Russia once again finds itself at the crossroads of key trends that determine the vector of future global development.
Many different opinions have been expressed in this connection including the fear that we have a distorted view of the international situation and Russia’s international standing. I perceive this as an echo of the eternal dispute between pro-Western liberals and the advocates of Russia’s unique path. There are also those, both in Russia and outside of it, who believe that Russia is doomed to drag behind, trying to catch up with the West and forced to bend to other players’ rules, and hence will be unable to claim its rightful place in international affairs. I’d like to use this opportunity to express some of my views and to back them with examples from history and historical parallels.
The Normandy format ministerial meeting has come to an end. Of course, we discussed the implementation of the Minsk Agreements in keeping with the understanding on the sequence of steps that was reached on October 2, 2015, when the four leaders of the Normandy format countries – the presidents of Russia, France and Ukraine and the Federal Chancellor of Germany – met in Paris.
Today we spent much time discussing security issues, namely the implementation of decisions that were adopted on the back of the Minsk Agreements calling for the withdrawal of heavy weaponry and weapons of less than 100mm calibre.