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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.

Question: Today DPRK proposed to evacuate the Embassy of Russia. Will the Ministry of Foreign Affairs do it?

Sergey Lavrov: This offer was made to all the embassies located in Pyongyang. We are currently trying to clarify the situation. We asked several questions to our North Korea neighbours that must be asked in such case. We maintain close contacts with our Chinese, American, South Korean, Japanese partners – parties to six-party talks.

We are very worried by the acceleration, though verbal, of tensions. We wish to understand what are causes of the offer to evacuate embassies; whether it is a decision of the government of DPRK or an offer. We were said that it is an offer.

I will repeat, considering that many factors are involved here, including those related to other member-states of the six-party talks, we are currently trying to clarify everything.

Question: Sergey Viktorovich, how did you negotiations with the Turkmen party take place? Did you touch upon the topic of double citizenship?

Sergey Lavrov: Today we had constructive negotiations with the President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov. We were able to discuss all lines of our interaction, noticed our mutual satisfaction with the level of political dialog, development rates of trade and economic links, discussed and cultural and humanitarian cooperation. Turkmenistan indeed pays big attention to the development of cultural links with Russia, support of Russian, but the general academic school named after Alexander Pushkin is a model of institutions of such kind. We would like the “Russian school abroad” project we are implementing now to match such standards.

We certainly discussed international problems, our cooperation in the UN, where Turkmenistan supports many initiatives of Russia, including it is a co-author of the Russian project of the resolution of the General Assembly condemning heroization of Nazism. We have talked also about our cooperation within CIS.

Dear deputies,

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Ministry of Education and Science, as a head government agency, is actively working on the problems our children face when they are adopted by foreign citizens.

In accordance with the Family Code of the Russian Federation, consulate employees abroad keep account of minor Russian citizens who were adopted by Russian citizens who are constantly residing abroad, or by foreign citizens or persons without citizenship. These data are updated on-line, however, not all adopters submit a request to register their child with the consulate. Therefore, we are currently including the request concerned into our agreements regarding cooperation in the sphere of international adoption we conclude with foreign countries.

Russian foreign representative offices informs the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia about all cases of the violation of rights and rightful interests of adopted children and immediately start dealing with practical steps to clarify what is going on with the specific child.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We share the satisfaction expressed by Mr William Hague regarding the launch of the UK-Russia Strategic Dialogue in the “two plus two” format agreed between the President Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister David Cameron. Today we honestly and constructively discussed our bilateral relations, as well as a range of regional and international problems. We tried not to smooth out the bumps, but rather to review even the most complex issues openly and as partners – be it concerns in the field of human rights or slow progress in the solution of issues regarding extradition of some Russian citizens who are subject to persecution and are in the UK now. I will repeat, this absolutely does not prevent us from seeing common interest in a whole range of critical issues, the resolution of which conditions peace within and around Europe.