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I would like to add my voice to express my warmest greetings to the participants and guests of the conference dedicated to 185 years of accession to office by the first Greek President and the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries.

Russia and Greece are united by old traditions of friendship and cooperation. The closeness and mutual attraction between our people have a deep rooted world view, and are based on joint spirituality and similar cultural and civilisational traits. By and large, this has predetermined the mutual entanglement of the historical fates of people from these two countries, which are certainly reflected in personal biographies.

Question: How was your meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry?

Sergey Lavrov: The meeting was dedicated to many issues. The main issue was the situation in Syria, primarily from the perspective of the preparation of a decision of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and a UNSC resolution in support of the OPCW document regarding the actions, which should be undertaken to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria. Both the Russian party and the American party highlighted that all the chemical weapons available in Syria should be liquidated, because there are serious threats and evidence that the opposition may have individual components of these hazardous materials.

Minister Lavrov, thank you so much for taking the time. It’s a pleasure to speak with you. We are doing a special issue of Foreign Policy magazine that will come out in May and dedicated to power in all of its manifestations, so this is a perfect chance to have a conversation with you. And I appreciate you taking the time. Well, first of all, we are interested in Russian-American relations. And I’m wondering if you could give me a sense of what you think comes after the reset. I know it was not your word.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we have had an intensive negotiation day related to the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to the Russian Federation. We had a long, rather specific and productive meeting with the President of the Russian Federation in Kremlin. Vladimir Putin has confirmed that he attentively studied the recent message of the US President Barack Obama and a reply is being prepared to it, which will soon be transferred to Washington. The President has emphasized that he is waiting for the meeting with Barack Obama within the framework of the summit of the Group of Eight, which will be held in the Northern Ireland, then we are waiting for the visit of the US President to the Russian Federation.

Dear veterans,

Dear colleagues, friends,

I congratulate all of you with the great feast – the Victory Day. Our memory about the Victory, warriors of the Great Patriotic War will never leave us, and we must do everything for our children and grandchildren to keep it. Each and all next generations are deeply in debt to those who have saved our Homeland, Europe, the world from fascism. This memory is Russia’s immeasurable spiritual and moral power, the guarantee of might of our state, our people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I share assessments of my colleague Foreign Minister of Slovenia Karl Erjavec about the state of our relations. They are, in fact, exemplary. We have no unsolvable problems, but rather a mutual wish to move on in all lines, inducing the political dialog that is regularly conducted at the level of heads of states and governments, constant contacts between Ministries of Foreign Affairs and other ministries and agencies of Russia and Slovenia, as well as parliaments, prosecutor’s offices, supreme courts, etc. are maintained.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We consider the Joint Strategic Planning Group to be a very important and effective mechanism. The group was created within the framework of the structures ensuring the activity of the High Level Cooperation Council the last session of which took place in Istanbul on 3 December 2012. During this session the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan summarized the results of the work done in different lines and set tasks for the future. I am glad to mention that all the structures created within the framework of the High Level Cooperation Council work very effectively. 

Question: As we know, the USA refused to test their intercontinental ballistic missile. Their motivation – not to irritate North Korea. So the West perceives the threat from Pyongyang more than seriously in your opinion, does the third Kim bluff or everything is serious? Is there a real threat of war?

Sergey Lavrov: To the question that a wish “not to irritate” North Korea is the reason of this or that step, I would say that there are more than enough irritants from all parts.

It is certainly unacceptable when a state – in this case DPRK, UN member – openly and provocatively breaches a UN resolution.

Dear members of the Coordinating Committee,

Friends,

We are glad to continue a good tradition of our meetings in the Reception House of the Russian Foreign Ministry of Russia. The Government of the Russian Federation pays a lot of attention to the work with nationals and the task of interaction with them, support of their efforts on preserving ethnic and cultural distinctiveness, protection of their rights and legal interests in countries of their residence. These tasks are confirmed as priorities in the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation approved by the President Vladimir Putin in 12 February 2013.

Question: Viktor Chernomyrdin was a Prime Minister of Russia, even an acting President. He was the second, and sometimes the first man in the country. The rank of an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary is a “ceiling” for a diplomat. Incredible as it may seem, for Viktor Chernomyrdin it was a step down the stairs. How did he perceive it? Who was he in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

Sergey Lavrov: He was an absolutely natural member of our team. I have known Viktor Stepanovich for a long time, from the very beginning of 90s of the 20th century, when after several attempts (they voted for him at last) he became a Prime Minister. I was a close acquaintance of him even back then, because I accompanied him in 1993 in several trips, including to the USA.