The Minister of foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov held the annual press-conference on which has summed up the work of the Russian diplomatic service over the past year and answered journalists ‘ questions. The Minister touched on the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and the situation around Iran, noting that the United States destabilisateur international situation, because I don’t want to compete fairly with other countries. Lavrov could not ignore the Syrian conflict by sharing details about the upcoming Congress of the national Syrian dialogue in Sochi. “MK” has collected the statements of the Minister on the most pressing issues on the international agenda.
About the Iranian nuclear deal: “the Latest statements (of Washington — “MK”), aims to disrupt the implementation of the Joint comprehensive plan of action on Iran’s nuclear program, has not added optimism and stability”, — stated the Minister. Russia will not support changes to the text of the “nuclear deal” that forced the US, he stressed, noting that Washington is “rolling on Iran” in all directions. “If the United States really slam the door (i.e. out of the agreement — “MK”), I don’t even want to think about the consequences,” — said the Minister, noting that Moscow will be “to ensure the conservation of the agreements on the Iranian nuclear program.”
About the situation on the Korean Peninsula: “we invite all to calm down and to freeze all confrontational actions, primarily actions related to the conduct of military activities, whether missile launches, nuclear tests or the organization of large-scale maneuvers that the United States with the Republic of Korea and then with Japan and will be conducted in the region”, — announced his position Lavrov. US actions, in the opinion of the Minister, is still only “provoke a new spiral of tension”. But if the parties waive the escalation of the conflict, Moscow is ready to support the dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington, as well as the six-party negotiation process involving Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, the US and the DPRK.
About the meeting on the DPRK in Vancouver on January 15, where it is not invited neither Russia nor China nor North Korea itself: “When we heard about this meeting, we asked why, why this composition?”, — told the Minister. According to him, the American side responded: “to develop a mechanism for more pressure on Pyongyang”. “We just said that consider it a harmful, — said the Minister. — Don’t expect (from her) anything productive, just nothing was counterproductive.”
About the relationship with America: “In the United States, the ingrained feeling of exclusivity… Well if they promoted this exclusivity of positive examples in a fair fight, in a fair competition. But unfortunately, this is not so.” The head of Russian diplomacy considers that inasmuch as the United States be strong competitors on the world stage, Americans “off on methods that are illegitimate and they’re trying to stop the reduction in its relative role in world politics.” “Fear of fair competition,” Lavrov explained and US attempts to stop construction of the pipeline “Nord stream—2”, and the desire to limit Russia’s military-industrial complex, and attacks on Russian media abroad. “We can’t not to respond to hostile action, to which I have referred. But we always try to do it gently, we don’t run — a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye no. But to endure all illegal actions… not to react to it all is impossible”, — said the Minister. “I already didn’t mention the unprecedented case of the seizure of diplomatic property. We are now beginning a legal procedure, the preparation already completed,” — he spoke about last year’s confiscation of Russian diplomatic buildings in the United States.
On Syria: “Astana process is not a competitor to the efforts of the United Nations (to resolve the conflict in Syria — “MK”). As well as the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue will contribute to a more productive carrying out of the Geneva talks, but not Vice versa,” — said the Minister. In his opinion, “in Geneva represented not the broad spectrum of the opposition.” Meanwhile, the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, he noted, “is designed to attract to the political process, the opposition, which directly opposed the government, but also representatives of the tribes.” “Yes, they are not participants in the conflict, but they live in this country and, of course, it is important to consider their opinion,” said the Minister, adding that the United States as opposed to Russia’s efforts aim “to help to extinguish the conflict and to help those who would like to start practical steps for regime change in the Syrian Arab Republic”.
On Ukraine: Lavrov reminded about the initiative of the Russian Federation on the UN mission for the protection of OSCE observers in the conflict areas in Eastern Ukraine. “The OSCE observers have a mandate, according to which they move, — of course, with the agreement of the parties on both sides of the line of contact and regularly visit the territory of the proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Luhansk up to the border with Russia where they are for the week up to 20 times. Our proposal involves the protection of the UN for these OSCE observers, wherever they move, where they patrol in accordance with its mandate.” However, Lavrov said that Ukraine for its part deliberately “sabotaging” the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
On Julian Assange: “We consider these issues from a humanitarian point of view,” said Lavrov on the question of whether Russia is to grant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange political asylum, Recalling the fate of Edward Snowden. “This problem (Julian Assange — “MK”) must somehow be resolved, I absolutely agree, — said the Minister. We understand those actions which are taking the government of Ecuador. I hope that all other members will be guided by common sense, including our British and Swedish colleagues, who seem to be ready to show good will and this problem is finally resolved”.
About trump: On a question whether he regretted that in last year’s elections in America won Donald trump, Lavrov said: “This is not what diplomacy is to regret anything held. We work with the facts. And the facts are as we see them today. So we do what is necessary to ensure the interests of Russia in the current circumstances”.
About Israel and Palestine: “In the current situation the chances of a direct dialogue between Israel and Palestine tend to zero”, — said Lavrov trump the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “The unresolved Palestinian problem is one of the most significant factors allowing the radicals to recruit new and new generation of terrorists,” he added.
Plans for 2018: “I’m not used to doing something in addition to provide the most effective work of our Ministry. And it’s now my main task”, — summed the Minister.