Speech by Sergey Lavrov at the Munich security conference was a response to the numerous criticism of Moscow. Lavrov called unnatural tension in relations between Russia and the West, and rejected the accusations in an effort to undermine the liberal world order. With special diligence was critical of Russia, Petro Poroshenko, whose speech observers found the rabid Russophobia.
On Saturday in Munich’s main program is international security conference, which opened yesterday. The main event of the day was the speech of the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Also, attention was paid to the speech of the Vice President of the United States Michael Pence, who spoke on the face of the new American leader is Donald trump.
“We hope for the triumph of common sense”
“We hope for the triumph of common sense, such a relationship we want with the United States, relations of pragmatism, mutual respect”
In fact, Lavrov has had to respond to what the previous speaker criticized Moscow. The Minister said that Russia does not agree with the accusations against him in an attempt to undermine the so-called liberal world order. He pointed out that the crisis of such model in the world was programmed.
Lavrov called unnatural tension in relations between Russia and the West. “Russia has never concealed his views, and sincerely advocated for equal work for the establishment of a common space of security, peace and development – from Vancouver to Vladivostok. Tensions in recent years between North America, Europe and Russia is unnatural. I would even say unnatural,” said the Minister.
Lavrov assured that Russia wants pragmatic and mutually respectful relations with the United States. “We hope for the triumph of common sense, such a relationship we want with the United States, relations of pragmatism, mutual respect, awareness of special responsibility for global stability,” said Lavrov, stressing that the two countries were “much more friendly history, rather than confrontation”.
Lavrov considers it illogical to link the lifting of sanctions against Moscow with the implementation of the Minsk agreements by Russia. But retaliatory sanctions against the European Union will not be lifted until the full implementation of these agreements. “We also want the Minsk agreements to be fulfilled, and we are their sanctions against the EU will not take off until the Minsk agreements are not fulfilled, it is also necessary to understand” – said Lavrov.
He stressed that Moscow is not seeking a conflict with anyone, but will always be able to defend their own interests. “Our absolute priority is to achieve its goal through dialogue, to seek consensus on the basis of mutual benefit,” he said.
According to him, the expansion of NATO has led to an unprecedented over the last 30 years the increase of tension in Europe. However, Lavrov called the necessary to resume military cooperation of Russia with NATO, “because without the practical cooperation of any meeting of diplomats no added meaning will have in terms of security challenges”.
Yesterday at the sidelines of the conference Lavrov met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and discussed prospects for relations between Russia and NATO. However, as made clear to Lavrov, the resumption of military cooperation with Russia, Stoltenberg is not yet ready.
“Over the past 25 years, we are unable to establish stable relations with Russia”
The second day of the conference began with a speech by Angela Merkel, who talked a lot about Russia. She noted the failure of Western efforts in improving relations with Moscow. According to her, after the end of the cold war, the international community was finally able to make friends with Russia. Nevertheless, she urged to preserve the founding act of the NATO – Russia on mutual relations and cooperation, and pointed to common interests between the West and Russia in the fight against international terrorism.
“Over the past 25 years, we are unable to establish stable relations with Russia, but Russia is our neighbor is an external border for the EU,” said Merkel, pledging to work to improve relations, “despite different opinions on different issues.”
According to her, after the situation with Crimea and aggravation in the East of Ukraine the importance of NATO has increased and Germany adheres to the goals of the Alliance to increase the defence budget to 2% of GDP. Even Merkel expressed concern about Russian support for the militias of Donbass, and called Minsk agreement with the basis of settlement in the Ukraine. Minsk remains the basis of our cooperation, and we must do everything to achieve a sustainable ceasefire,” said Merkel.
Speaking about the global terrorist threat, Merkel urged the international community “to draw a clear line between peaceful Islam and Islamic terrorism” and involved in the fight against extremists in the Muslim countries. Speaking of migration flows, Merkel admitted that the EU was not ready for such a large number of refugees and “should focus on this important challenge.”
Senator Alexei Pushkov in a statement Merkel about the need for a joint fight against terrorism saw the impact of the position of the trump. In his Twitter he wrote that the Chancellor “does not speak about the joint struggle of Russia against terrorism”. However, the Senator noted that Merkel said NATO’s role in the preservation of borders in Europe and “made an attack on Russia, somehow forgetting about how NATO separated Kosovo”.
Merkel’s words are surprising
Merkel passage about non-constructive role of Russia in relations with the West was surprised by the leading researcher of the Center for German studies Institute of Europe RAS Alexander Kamkin. “During the 1990-ies Russian diplomacy were entirely in the format of the interests of the EU and the USA. It was a servile diplomacy, which in fact do not pursue their own national interests. Even if this kind of diplomacy, from the point of view of Mrs. Merkel is not constructive and to ensure the withdrawal of Russia from the principles of thinking during the cold war, it is at least surprising,” said Kamkin the newspaper VIEW.
“In the speech, Pence was repeated the well-known mantra about the readiness of relations with Russia to normalize, but without any detail on this. It is also frustrating”
The expert does not deny that he was in this time and period, when relations between Russia and the West has been questioned. Among them – NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, aggression of Georgia against South Ossetia and the subsequent force Tbilisi to peace, “when the European establishment clearly took the Georgian side, accusing Russia of allegedly violating international law”.
Overall themes of the conference Kamkin called very sharp, aided by the recent aggravation of the situation in the Donbass. “The actual resumption of full-scale hostilities is a cause of concern, especially in the context of the double standards applied by European politicians. Plus, of course, it affects the situation with terrorism and immigration crisis,” said Kamkin.
“We need to make sure that Russia was responsible”
Hard was the performance of Michael Pence. Speaking about relations with Russia, he pointed out that trump believes in the ability of Washington and Moscow to find new points of contact. At the same time, he urged Russia to take responsibility for their actions in Ukraine. “We need to make sure that Russia was responsible, and to demand the implementation of the Minsk agreements, to the level of violence in Eastern Ukraine has declined,” said Vice-President of the United States.
In this remark immediately responded in Moscow. As RIA “Novosti”, the head of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said that Russia is disappointed by this thesis. “Disappointed in that sense, played in the just-delivered speech, Pence the position that the sole responsibility for the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine continues to be borne by Russia. This thesis definitely brought the situation to a deadlock, it allows the Kiev authorities endlessly to sabotage Minsk agreement”, – said the MP.
Kosachev said that Russia would like to hear from US, in what Washington hopes for normalization of relations with Moscow. “In the speech, Pence was repeated the well-known mantra about the readiness of relations with Russia to normalize, but without any detail on this. It is also frustrating because I would like to hear what you see, our American partners the possibility of such normalization despite the fact that we do this normalization, of course, it applies not only to our cooperation in the fight against terrorism,” – said Kosachev.
“Nothing but unbridled Russophobia, it’s not”
Add that the night before the conference by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who talked a lot about Russia. In particular, he said, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin “hated Ukraine” and Russia wants to “punish” Ukraine for the desire to “live independently”, and supposedly Moscow sees Ukraine’s “place on the political map of Europe.” “He publicly declares that the Ukrainian nation is part of the dominant Russian identity. He sees the future of Ukraine on the political map of Europe. He would like to redraw this map and apply it “tricolor”, – said Poroshenko. – But it would be a mistake to assume that Russian appetites will end only an attack on Ukraine”.
Poroshenko recalled the humorous words of Putin that “Russia’s borders do not end there.” “There’s only one time and one place where it is possible to refuse from Russian revanchism. The time is now. This place is Ukraine”, – said Poroshenko.
We will remind, Putin has repeatedly stated that Russian and Ukrainians are one people. According to Putin, the people of this first split, and now was vented, but the way out is sure to be found.
Poroshenko again asked Europe not to take sanctions against Russia without the return of Ukrainian Donbass and the Crimea. “Moscow clearly refers only to the sanctions of the West. Sanctions – this is our asset, not liability, is a manifestation of our powers when we entered, but it will be a demonstration of our weakness, if we remove sanctions,” he said.
Ukrainian political analyst Volodymyr Skachko called the statement Poroshenko “hysteria of a man who realizes that his time is over and he still saw no other way to stay in power and plunder this unfortunate country but to continue a course of unbridled Russophobia and offer themselves as the tip of this Russophobia”.
“Hence the statement Poroshenko. Nothing but rabid Russophobia in this. The goal is the same: look at me, I’m the only Russophobe, which will go to the end. This the Baltic syndrome, multiplied by the size of Ukraine and personally Poroshenko madness,” said Skachko the newspaper VIEW.
According to him, Poroshenko actually afraid of losing power, “he has practically no internal resources to retain power. He relies only on external assistance. This is pure war – mother is native, only war, painted in an anti-Russian tone,” – said the expert.
In addition, from the speech of Poroshenko, it became apparent that he hopes to maintain the status quo, which was under the previous American leadership. “Poroshenko is waiting for, that nothing will change, and when Donald trump that he will continue to diplomatic and political assistance and, of course, an incredible aid with arms, money. Besides political dividends Poroshenko gets a chic material dividends on those threads that go to war in Donbass”, – said the expert.