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Question: Taken into account the events in Venezuela, I was reminded of the scene when Hugo Chavez gathered all the presidents of Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America and introduced them to the President of Russia. Will the death of Hugo Chavez have a negative impact on the relationship with this community rather than on the Russia-Venezuela interaction?

S.V.Lavrov: First of all, we need to attend to the fate of Venezuela and support Venezuelan people during this difficult time. According to our estimations (and this is confirmed by the recent buyout polls in Venezuela), the majority of the population - more that 60 percent - favours the continuation of the policy initiated by Hugo Chavez. Now there is an elaboration of new legal issues that will determine how things in the political process will develop in the framework of constitution and the decisions taken by the Constitutional Court. Of course, we wish the Venezuelan people to make the choice that meets their aspirations and interests of strengthening our strategic partnership.

Question:

 Sergey Viktorovich, you are in London next week for this new strategic dialogue meeting between Russia and Britain. Is this a sign that the relationship between Britain and Russia is continuing to improve, do you think?

Sergey Lavrov: I would say so. The relations have been developing on the positive lately. This was reflected during the meeting between President V.Putin and Prime Minister D.Cameron, when they met last summer. And the decision of the two leaders to create this new 2+2 format, I think, is a reflection that we both like to continue the improvement of our relationship.

Discussions in this format have become a heart-warming tradition. Today we have some sort of an anniversary – we meet for the tenth time in these years.

We constantly talk of how much cooperation is important and take appropriate steps to deepen it. Life itself encourages us to do that, as well as the Order of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, called “On Measures to Implement the Foreign Policy Course of the Russian Federation” of 7 May 2012, emphasizing that the involvement of the civil society into the foreign policy process, the support of extensive participation of foreign policy-oriented non-governmental organizations in the activity of different international expert and political science forums and dialogs is a logical process.

We had a very ambitious conversation that lasted more than two hours. We discussed practically all aspects of our bilateral relations and key issues of the international agenda with emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa. In my opinion, the conversation was constructive. I felt the wish of my colleague John Kerry to line up our relations on a track of partnership, certainly without turning a blind eye to the issues that are irritant, including those that have emerged just recently. We mentioned Magnitsky Act, the problem with the attitude of the USA towards the children adopted from Russia. It was decided to move ahead in the situations where our interests match – in fact there are many of them – without turning a blind eye and still trying to solve these problems. They include stimulation of economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian links, also interaction in creating favourable conditions for settlement of different conflicts.

Dear Chairman,

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure for me to attend the Munich conference again, which has firmly consolidated itself as most authoritative site for open conceptual discussion of European and international politics problems.

It is impossible to overlook the symbolism of the date of today's meeting. 70 years ago one of the most difficult, bloody, and crucial battles of World War II – the battle of Stalingrad – was over. Hundreds of thousands of my compatriots who gave their lives for this victory on the banks of Volga were not only defending the Motherland, but also fighting for the attainment of universal peace, just as all our allies were doing.

I am very glad to be in Myanmar with a return visit. Our countries have developed traditionally friendly and trustful relations, and in February we will celebrate the 65thanniversary of diplomatic relations. I am satisfied to tell you that my colleague and I agreed to hold a special event on that occasion.

Russia sympathizes with the policy pursued by Myanmar’s leaders and reforms aimed at upgrading public life and economy and developing contacts with other world. We are confident that its consistent implementation will open up new opportunities to deepen our bilateral ties in various fields.

Dear Leonid,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased with the results of today's meeting. It comes at a time when Ukrainian–Russian relations are on the rise and are marked by an intensive political dialogue at all levels, especially at the highest one, where the agreement in principle on future directions of bilateral cooperation is reached. Surely, as Leonid has said, economy is the basis for this interaction, partly because the results of cooperation in trade, economic and investment spheres are directly linked to the interests of particular enterprises and people working there.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tells RT that Western powers' habit of dividing terrorists between "bad and acceptable" could have lasting consequences for the whole world.

Syria’s chemical arsenal has become a central point of international concern since the country’s civil conflict flared up in March 2011. Syria is reportedly in possession of nerve agents including mustard gas, while NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has already accused the country’s government of deploying the Scud missiles needed to deliver it.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Negotiations with my Slovak colleague M. Lajcak have just been concluded, and they were held in friendly, confidential atmosphere and were very specific.

We have the general understanding that the Russian-Slovak relations are based on the solid foundation, which is based on the principles of good neighborliness and partnership. In our relationship there are no serious problems, the most favorable conditions for the dynamic development of cooperation in all fields were created.



Dear Madam Chairman,

Dear Mr. Secretary General of the OSCE

Dear President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE,

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I join to congratulations in relation to Mongolia. I hope our Mongolian friends will contribute to the work of the OSCE.