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Speech and answers of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation S.V. Lavrov to the questions of mass media during joint press conference at the outcomes of talks with Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Beijing, 10 May 2012

10-05-2012, 14:00



Dear ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank my colleague and friend the Minister of Foreign Affairs of PRC Yang Jiechi for hospitality on the Chinese land.

We discussed directly and in details a wide range of issues regarding further deepening of our strategic partnership and cooperation on bilateral basis as well as in international arena. Russian-Chinese relations have reached the unprecedentedly high level and continue progressive development. We deepen regular political dialogue on the highest level between deputies of chairpersons of the government and ministers. We conduct such meetings every month.

Today, we coordinated our steps necessary to make for successful preparation of the state visit of the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin to PRC and for the next meeting of the heads of the government of Russia and China.

Our relations acquire new facets. Alongside with unprecedented growth of good turnover (last year it exceeded USD 80 bln) this April we had joint navy exercises, new large scale humanitarian project - Year of Russian tourism in China was launched.

Talking about humanitarian element of our partnership, I can’t but mention that this visit to China was started in Dalian and with opening ceremony of Museum of History of Liberation of North East of China by the Soviet Army. During our meetings with Chinese friends we again emphisised that one of the binding bases of our partnership is the glorious memory of brotherhood in arms in fight against common enemy.

In World War II the humanity literally gained through much suffering the principles which became the basis of modern world and which establish the essence of the UN Charter. First of all, this is equal rights, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, non-interference into domestic affairs, inadmissibility to solve international and regional conflicts with force or force threats. Russia and China stay firm on these principles dealing with different conflicts which today are considered by the international community - the situation in the Middle East and North of Africa, Korean Peninsula, situation around Iranian Nuclear Programme, Afghanistan or any other crisis. At the same time, our countries promote positive consolidating agenda in different multilateral formats, including UN, BRICS (Brazil, India, China, South Africa), RIC (Russia, India, China), Group of Twelve and, of course, SOC. We discussed in details the preparation for the summit of Shanghai Organization of Cooperation which will be held in early June in Beijing.

I am convinced that our today talks being the part of large-scale preparation for the summit of leaders of Russia and China, will support further promotion and deepening our strategic partnership and cooperation.

Question: How Russia assess the recent events in Syria? As you know on 7 May the parliamentary elections were held in the SAR which Washington called “ridiculous”. Today there were two blasts which caused deaths of people. What position Moscow will take towards the Syrian issue?

S.V. Lavrov: Our position on the Syrian issue was and remained unchanged. We are convinced that the only resolution is stopping of any violence no matter where it comes from and fulfilment of the settlement plan presented by the UN/LAS Special envoy K. Annan. We do everything to make sides cooperate with K. Annan and his representatives and UN Monitor Mission. Unfortunately those states who have more influence than Russia on the opposition, especially on its irreconcilable part, do not do the same Sometimes they even encourage armed groups not to compromise and agree, but continue to fight, hoping that government troops will respond not adequately and this vicious circle of violence will result in interference form outside. This is not acceptable and the UN Security Council will not sanction such scenario.

Now we evidence something of the kind of "déjà vu". Last November, the League of Arab States set up the Arab Observer Mission which was deployed in Syria and consisted of several hundreds people. They started working, promoting the stabilization of the situation even by their presence, and commenced preparing impartial reports. When the Mission became influential, the LAS decided to wind it up. Now we have a similar situation regarding UN Monitor Mission and efforts in general taken by K. Annan. If people foretell the failure of UN Mission it is harmful. But unfortunately some of our partners not only foretelling, but make certain practical steps aimed at direct or indirect “explosion” of the situation. I mean the explosions which you’ve mentioned.

Nobody exonerates the Syrian government from responsibility. But this is not a reason to remove any responsibility from the opposing sides (there are several extremists armed groups in the SAR which take provocative actions) which can be influenced by members of international community. They should use this influence for good, but not vice versa.

We are not with those who acts towards Syria on the basis “the worse the better”. Our commitment to exclusively peaceful settlement of the crisis through the dialogue with all Syrian sides is unchanged. There are people who want to press us to make us change this position. But we will not give up, we will be gradually committed to the consensus adopted in UNSC in its decisions and resolutions approving K. Annan’s plan.

Question: How, in you opinion, Russia and China should develop their relations to preserve the unprecedentedly high level of cooperation?

S.V. Lavrov: I think that we should not invent anything here, because principles and methods of cooperation lying in the basis of our strategic partnership absolutely and completely justify themselves. The dialogue on the highest level always gives new impetuses to cooperation in all spheres - from economic, military-technical, innovation, investments, humanitarian to newest initiatives like Year of Russian tourism in China and upcoming Year of China tourism in Russia in 2013.

All these impetuses should be timely and clearly implemented. Together with China, we established most branched mechanism of bilateral cooperation. It includes all ministers without exception headed by the chairpersons of the government who prepare propositions and reports to the heads of state on achieving tasks set on the highest level. I shall reiterate I think that we have the optimal scheme which enables us work effectively and provide control over our agreements.

Today’s discussion of the preparation of the state visit of the President V.V. Putin to PRC confirmed that upcoming summit of our leaders will be an important milestone on the way of further deepening of bilateral strategic partnership and global cooperation.

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