Ladies and gentlemen,
I am grateful for the invitation to speak again at the Primakov Readings International Forum. It is one of the most highly respected international venues for a committed professional dialogue, although probably the youngest. I would like to thank the leadership of Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) for suggesting the idea of this forum and for the commendable organisation of this year’s event amid the COVID-19 restrictions.
I would like to welcome all the forum’s participants, who represent the Russian and international community of experts and political analysts. A dialogue on all aspects of the current international order is especially important at this stage.
These readings are integrally connected with the intellectual heritage of Yevgeny Primakov, an outstanding statesman. It was during his term as the Foreign Minister of Russia that the principles of Russia’s current foreign policy were formulated. These principles are independence, pragmatism, a multi-vector approach, respect for international law and openness to cooperation with anyone who is willing to interact on the basis of equality and mutual respect.These principles have been incorporated in the Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, which was approved in 2000 after Vladimir Putin’s election as President of Russia and subsequently modified. The current wording of the Concept was adopted in 2016. But the principles I have mentioned, which Academician Primakov formulated, remain effective to this day.
Russia’s major advantage is that these principles allow us to ensure the predictability and sustainability of our foreign policy. This is especially important now that the world order is at an extremely contradictory stage of its development marked by increased turbulence. But as a Chinese saying goes, such periods also offer enormous opportunities, which we must make use of to boost cooperation in the interests of all nations. We can see that positive trends are gaining momentum. I would like to mention in this context primarily the strengthening of the new centres of economic and political influence and the promotion of democracy in interstate relations in general. Incidentally, Yevgeny Primakov predicted this process back in the middle of the 1990s in his concept of a multipolar world.
Russia will energetically promote the continuation of the peaceful movement towards a polycentric world based on the leading states’ collective guidance of efforts to resolve global problems. But we are also realists and hence cannot disregard the stubborn, and I would even say aggressive unwillingness of our Western colleagues to accept this objective reality. We cannot disregard the striving of the collective West to ensure itself a privileged international position at all costs. The results of the upcoming G7, NATO and US-EU summits will be a gauge of the current mentality in the leading Western countries.
Not only Russia but also many others face the situation where the West’s representatives are unprepared for an honest, facts-based dialogue, preferring to act in the “highly likely” spirit. There are many instances of this approach. This is certain to undermine trust in the very idea of dialogue as a method of settling differences and to erode the capabilities of diplomacy as a crucial foreign policy tool.
The zeal, with which our Western colleagues started promoting the notorious “rules-based world order” concept, looks even more irrational and devoid of prospects. Rules are always needed. Let me remind you that the UN Charter is also a body of rules, but these rules have been universally accepted and coordinated by all members of the international community, and they are not called into question by anyone. This is called international law. The UN Charter is the main part of international law and its foundation. While dodging the term “international law” and using instead the expression “rules-based world order,” our Western colleagues have in mind a totally different thing: they want to develop certain West-centric concepts and approaches to be later palmed off as an ideal of multilateralism and the ultimate truth. These actions are undertaken in areas such as chemical weapons, journalism, cyber security, and international humanitarian law. There are universal organisations dealing with all these issues, but our colleagues, primarily in the EU as well as in the United States, are eager to promote their own concept in each of these areas. If asked why this is not being done at the top organisation of multilateralism, the UN, they give no clear answer. We understand that it is, of course, more difficult to advance some initiatives of theirs and reach agreements in a universal format, where there are not only the “docile” members of the Western club but also Russia, China, India, Brazil and African countries. We will see how this “rules-based world order” concept will be reflected in the outcomes of the events that have already been announced, including the so-called Summit for Democracy announced by US President Joe Biden, or in the initiatives in the area of multilateralism announced by President of France Emmanuel Macron and a number of other leaders.
I am confident that we cannot ignore the incontrovertible fact that the present world order is a sum of agreements between the countries that won World War II. Russia will object to those wishing to cast doubt on the outcome of that war. We cannot and will not play up to those who would like to reverse the natural course of history. We, incidentally, have no superpower ambitions, no matter how hard some people try to convince themselves and everyone else of the opposite. Nor do we have the messianic zeal, with which our Western colleagues are attempting to spread their axiological “democratising” agenda to the rest of the world. It has long been clear to us that the outside imposition of development models will do no good. Look at the Middle East, Northern Africa, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan.
A specific feature of the current situation is that the coronavirus pandemic has greatly accelerated the events, helping to settle existing problems and at the same time creating new ones. I am referring to the global economic decline, destroyed industrial and marketing chains, growing isolationism and geopolitical opportunism. This common trouble is also reminding us, through growing problems, about the unprecedented connection between all members of the international community. Nobody can weather it out in a safe haven. This is probably one of the main lessons we must draw from what is happening.
Russia calls for cooperation with everyone, as I have already mentioned, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and a balance of interests. We are aware of the value of each international partner, both in bilateral relations and in the multilateral format. We value our friendship with everyone who reciprocates this feeling and is willing to look for honest agreements, without ultimatums and unilateral demands.
The issues we are ready to discuss cover nearly all important spheres of life: security, trade, environmental protection, climate change, digital transformation, artificial intelligence and plenty more.
Russia is promoting its ideas in Eurasia. The principles I have mentioned underlie the operation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). These associations are based exclusively on the principle of voluntary participation, equality and the common good. There are no “bosses” and “subordinates” in them. These organisations have creative goals and are not spearheaded against anyone, and neither do they claim to spread their narrow values throughout the world, demanding that absolutely all states without exception comply with them, as some other integration structures are doing.
Our unconditional priorities include the strengthening of our comprehensive interaction with China. This year we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation between Russia and China. Another similar goal is to promote our privileged strategic partnership with India. This is how it is defined in the documents that were adopted at the top level. We are expanding our cooperation with ASEAN nations and other Asian-Pacific countries. We are doing this within the framework of the unification philosophy, which constitutes the basis of President Vladimir Putin’s initiative of the Greater Eurasian Partnership. It is open to absolutely all countries of our common Eurasian continent, and the membership of this association will dramatically increase the comparative advantages of all Eurasian countries in this highly competitive world upon the assumption that they will make good use of their natural, God-given advantages and will not try to create new or deepen the existing dividing lines on our continent.
Both China and India support, in principle, the concept of the Greater Eurasian Partnership, which I have already mentioned. Its merits have been highly assessed at the SCO. We are discussing it with ASEAN nations. We are also open for discussions with the EU as our natural neighbour on this huge continent.
I believe that forums such as the Primakov Readings provide ideal venues for discussing any related ideas. There can be alternative approaches by all means, but we would like our discussions to be focused on the future in the interests of all countries of this vast region.
Russia will actively continue to facilitate the settlement of international conflicts. We are working in Syria and helping the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to restore peaceful life after we stopped the bloodshed there. We are taking a vigorous part in international efforts to achieve a settlement in Afghanistan, Libya, around Iran, the Korean Peninsula and many other hot spots.
I am referring to this not to attract attention to our achievements. We do not have an inferiority complex (just as we do not have a superiority complex in global politics) but we are always ready to help those who need assistance. This is our historical mission that is rooted in the centuries of our ancient history. Therefore, we will continue working to this end even on those problems that seem insoluble at first sight like a settlement in the Middle East. We are actively trying to restore the work of the Quartet of International Mediators and promoting the concept of ensuring collective security in the area of the Persian Gulf. We are willing to host a meeting of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Moscow as soon as possible. Now it is necessary to wait for the results of the internal political processes in Israel. It is very unfortunate that no attention was paid to our repeated reminders over many years that the concept of normalising Israeli-Arab relations cannot be carried out at the expense of the Palestinian problem. I believe that this is a very serious problem that will only continue to get worse.
We are actively working to coordinate the rules of responsible conduct in the information space now in the UN’s multilateral format. We are promoting cooperation in countering the coronavirus. I would like to emphasise that contrary to the Western allegations, we are invariably interested in pragmatic, mutually beneficial relations with all parties, including the West, be it the United States, its NATO allies or the EU. We are promoting a package of initiatives to prevent the complete collapse of the agreements and understanding in disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation after the Americans destroyed many treaties, for instance, START-3. We suggested a voluntary moratorium on the deployment of the missiles covered by it at least in Europe. Despite our proposals on verifying the moratorium, the West continues avoiding any honest discussion. In much the same manner, NATO has been literally talking our ear off for over two years in response to our very specific proposals aimed at reducing tension and military threat along the entire Russia-NATO contact line.
We are willing to work with any partner but there will be no one-sided game. Neither sanctions nor ultimatums will help anyone talk with us and reach any agreements.
In conclusion, I will quote these words by Yevgeny Primakov: “A strong Russia should not be seen as a threat to world stability. Only the inertia of thinking may suggest the conclusion about a threat emanating from Russia…”
Russia will never give up its fundamental values and will be true to its spiritual sources and its stabilising role in world politics.Therefore, we will continue doing everything for the firm, non-confrontational promotion of our national interests and developing cooperation with as many countries as possible.
I would like to emphasise only one idea: do not interpret our willingness for dialogue with any partner as a weakness. President of Russia Vladimir Putin stressed recently in his response to Western ultimatums that we will determine ourselves the red lines in relations with our Western partners and will primarily uphold our views on the world arrangement, on how to develop international relations in full conformity with the principles fixed in the UN Charter rather than some agreements between a narrow circle of parties.
Question: A question from Wolfgang Schussel, head of the Dialog-Europe-Russia forum and Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria in 2000-2007. The leaders’ summit for Russia and the United States is invariably a major international event that introduces new vectors into the work of the diplomats, the military and business on specific issues. The meetings are not always successful like, for example, the most recent summit in Helsinki with the 45th US President Donald Trump. We hope this time everything will be different. President Biden is interested in arms control and resuming the Iranian nuclear deal.
What are your expectations for a possible new agenda after the meeting of the two leaders in any area, in particular, cyberspace, autonomous weapons, or the regional conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and North Korea?
Sergey Lavrov: I am happy to greet my good friend Wolfgang Schussel. I thank him for the question.
We have repeatedly made our position known in connection with the upcoming summit in Geneva on June 16. We do not set our expectations high, nor do we entertain any illusions about potential “breakthroughs.” But there is an objective need for an exchange of views at the highest level on what threats Russia and the United States, as the two largest nuclear powers, see in the international arena. The fact that a conversation is happening between the leaders of the two leading nuclear powers is, of course, important. We strongly support this approach by our US colleagues.
Clearly, normalisation of Russian-US relations, I’ll stress this again, can only be possible if the principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs are observed. This is a prerequisite not only for maintaining a normal, predictable and steady dialogue (which the Americans claim they want), but it is also important for removing the accumulated issues of confrontation between our countries. We are ready for a candid conversation like this.
I hope that in preparation for the summit, those who are now dealing with Russia in the Biden administration (they used to say “Sovietology,” which would now be called “Russology, I would guess,” though it would be nice if it was “Russophilia”), will finally appreciate the actions, interests and position of the Russian Federation, and our red lines, and will be willing to correct the mistakes in recent years and will not conduct a dialogue solely from a position that claims hegemony in global affairs.
Clearly, any dialogue is better than no dialogue.But if a hegemonic mindset continues to determine the US’s position, if our colleagues from the United States continue to follow in the footsteps of their own propaganda, which deafens the US elite as well, then there’s not much we can expect from this summit. In any case, I think it is important to have a candid exchange of views at the highest level, even if there are differences that many believe are insurmountable.
We share an interest in strategic stability. We have fairly strong contacts on how to approach this area of international politics at this point. Frankly, we advocate a comprehensive approach and taking into account all, without exception, factors influencing strategic stability in our dialogue with the United States. I mean nuclear and non-nuclear, and offensive and defensive weapons. Anything that affects strategic stability must be discussed during a dialogue.
The Americans have a much narrower approach. They are only interested in certain aspects of our nuclear triad and are not inclined, at least at this point, to agree on a comprehensive concept that would include everything without exception.
I hope that, based on the preliminary work and consultations in preparation for this summit, President Vladimir Putin and President Joseph Biden will be able to determine a strategic policy for future work in these areas.
Mr Schussel mentioned cyber security as well. We have no shortage of goodwill here. Ever since 2016, when the Obama administration began accusing us of “meddling” in their elections, we have suggested dozens of times sitting down and laying out specific facts and concerns that both sides have in a professional and trust-based manner. What we received was a strong refusal to do so. Now, I hope, we will discuss this matter and see to what extent the Biden administration is ready to do sincere work in this area.
You mentioned Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and North Korea. We maintain communication on all these matters, especially Afghanistan, North Korea and certain aspects of the Syria crisis and the situation in Libya. Together with the Americans, we are participating in internationally recognised multilateral forums. I’m referring to the talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and what we call the expanded Troika on Afghanistan (Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan).
There is a bilateral mechanism for Syria, primarily dealing with deconfliction. We always emphasise the US’s illegal presence on Syrian soil, especially since it includes plundering Syria’s natural resources and taking advantage of its oil fields and farm land. They use the proceeds to support (everyone is aware of this) separatism on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River thus flirting with a very dangerous problem – I mean the Kurdish problem. These games could come to a sticky end.
Since the US armed forces and combat aircraft are present in Syria, we have a deconflicting mechanism maintained by our respective defence ministries. In addition, sometimes we also have political consultations on how to move forward. We would welcome the United States resuming its participation as an observer in the Astana format and, in general, being more committed to the key principles of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 on the Syrian settlement.
The summit has no agreed upon agenda on paper. Sometimes our colleagues from the European Union (at a time when we still had relations and interaction bodies) focused on the word-for-word, scrupulous coordination of each item, which should then become the agenda of the negotiations. We didn’t have this with the Americans. We just listed the topics that the parties intended to touch on. We are doing the same this time. The work continues. It won’t be a long wait. I think things will become clear soon. We are interested in positive results from the summit, but, as they say, it takes two to tango. And if one party is break dancing, tangoing becomes a more difficult proposition.
Question: The Trump administration threw out the mechanism of the INF Treaty. Russia responded with an unprecedented act of goodwill. The Russian leaders sent a proposal to the United States and NATO to introduce a moratorium on the deployment of medium and shorter-range missiles in Europe. The Trump administration did not respond. There was only a weak reaction from European capitals. Is it possible to continue the dialogue on this problem? Is the proposed moratorium possible at all?
Sergey Lavrov: The INF Treaty is history. It doesn’t exist anymore. We have expressed regret over this.
You mentioned a very important fact. Immediately after this happened, apart from expressing regret over the treaty’s demise, President of Russia Vladimir Putin announced a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of ground-based medium and short-range missiles in Russia. It banned the deployment of the missiles prohibited by the defunct treaty unless similar US systems appeared in a given area. This was a unilateral moratorium.
Later, a few years ago, when this moratorium failed to generate much interest, President Putin took one more step. He sent a detailed message to the US and the other NATO and EU members and our Eastern neighbours (about 50 states in all). In this message, the Russian leader described in detail our moratorium proposal and supplemented it with an invitation to cooperate. He suggested that the Western countries also announce a reciprocal moratorium on their own without signing any legally binding agreements, simply as a goodwill gesture. In this detailed message, we discussed the West’s skeptical statements about Russia’s unilateral moratorium on the deployment of ground-based systems that were banned by the former treaty. The West’s politicians reasoned: “Russia is as cunning as a fox. It has already deployed Iskanders in the Kaliningrad Region that violate the parameters of the former treaty” while the NATO countries have no counterpart, thus this would be an inequitable exchange. However, to begin with, nobody has proved that Iskanders violate INF-established criteria and bans on the range of missiles. The Americans refused to provide any rationale on this.
I would also like to note at this point that they are still stubbornly refusing to present satellite photos from July 2014 when the Malaysian airliner crashed. The court in the Netherlands openly announced recently that there is no hope that the Americans will provide them. So, this question is closed for the court. In other words, evidence of paramount importance is being concealed.
Likewise, nobody has ever shown us the satellite photos that were used by the Americans to prove that our Iskanders violate the INF Treaty.
Considering that the Western countries believe Russia has already done this ahead of them and as we suggested freezing this situation, Russia would benefit from this, President Vladimir Putin said it straight in his Address to the Federal Assembly: considering the mutual mistrust, we suggest measures to verify a reciprocal moratorium. We invite you to come to the Kaliningrad Region and see these Iskanders. In exchange, we want our experts to visit missile defence bases in Romania and Poland because Lockheed Martin, the producer of missile launchers openly promotes them on its website as dual purpose: for launching both counter-missiles and anti-strike cruise missiles. I think this is a very honest proposal. Let’s check: you are concerned about our Iskanders, and we are worried about the dual purpose of those missile defence launchers.
The only positive response came from President of France Emmanuel Macron. He said this was an interesting proposal and that he was ready to take part in implementing it via a multilateral dialogue. But this didn’t happen. The Americans ignored the proposal for obvious reasons since they do not want to let anyone visit their missile defence sites (this is a separate question), while all the others obediently kept silent.
Our proposal remains on the table. I think we will certainly bring this up at the Geneva summit on June 16. Let’s see the response.
Question: Often, especially recently, you have said that the European Union is an unreliable partner. Unfortunately, this is the case, especially against the backdrop of insane and unbecoming for the 21st century Russophobic propaganda and scandals that are made up without providing any evidence.
You have extensive political experience. Do you think the low level of leadership in the EU may be at least partially mitigated during this year’s elections in Germany and other countries? Will the overall crisis be able to give rise to modern European leaders who will “emancipate” themselves, at least a little, from the United States and fulfil their mission which is to serve their respective peoples? This calls for a radical change in the EU’s policy towards Russia. Unfair and ineffective sanctions must be forgotten and we must return to dialogue and mutual trust in order to overcome common problems which cannot be resolved without a full dialogue and cooperation, including with Russia.
We look forward to seeing you in Bulgaria for the unveiling of the bust of our teacher Yevgeny Primakov.
Sergey Lavrov: God willing, I will definitely be there. We maintain a dialogue with Bulgaria via our respective foreign ministries. However, recently, certain factors have appeared, not from our side, that are not conducive to an expansion of constructive interaction. I hope this is temporary.
As for your question about the European Union and our relations with the EU, I have covered this issue many times. We want relations with the European Union that are equal and mutually respectful. We cannot have relations with the EU based on demands for Russia to change its behaviour. The foreign ministers of Germany and other European countries have said many times that we need to be partners (they no longer say friends) with Russia, but it must change its behaviour first. This is a mindset that cannot be changed.
I was talking about the rules-based order which they came up with. In fact, it is the Western vision of how to maintain relations between countries in the 21st century and, moreover, how to organise life within a country. These “messianic” processes on the advancement of democracy are quite aggressive. But as soon as you start talking with the West about democracy in the international arena and ways to promote it not only within the borders of a country (this is each individual state’s concern), but in international affairs so everyone is treated equally and heeds the voice of the majority, but also respects the minority, they immediately back pedal. They do not want to discuss the democratisation of international relations. The very concept of a “rules-based international order” negates any hope that the West will get drawn into a discussion on democratising global processes in international relations.
Literally in May, promoting one of the main elements of the concept of a rules-based world order, namely effective multilateralism, French President Macron bluntly stated that multilateralism does not imply the need to achieve unanimity. “The position of conservatives should not be an obstacle for ambitious frontrunners,” he said. I think this is clear. “Conservatives” are revisionists (you can call them that, although these words are antonyms). We and China are called “conservatives who do not want change” and “revisionists who want to slow things down that move the Western world forward.” At the same time, President Macron did not mention either the UN or international law.
There are “ambitious front-runners” who promote this concept, and there are those who want to “conservatively” hold on to UN Charter principles. That’s the problem. This was expressed by the president of the country, which was among those who, at some point, called for the EU’s strategic autonomy. But these discussions have been muted even in Germany.
At one EU event, President of the European Council Charles Michel praised the return of the United States to Euro-Atlantic solidarity. EU leadership was clearly relieved to know that everything is “good” again, the United States is “at the helm” again and they can follow in its wake.
I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. I hope no one takes offense, but it’s a fact. These are publicly stated assessments that have been repeatedly uttered by EU leadership.
The Munich Security Conference was held in May where Charles Michel said that the alliance between the United States and Europe is the basis for a rules-based international order. International law was not mentioned. He stressed that it is necessary to aggressively promote democracy to protect this order from “attacks” by Russia, China, Iran and other “authoritarian regimes.” That is, it follows that democracy for these purposes needs to be promoted within these respective countries and not in the international arena. This is more than self-revelatory. Without reservation, a concept is being put forward that is openly seeking dominance, at least claiming it.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, for example, that with respect to digital transformation, it is necessary for the United States and Europe to develop a “rulebook” that the world can follow.
More recently, our US colleagues said that new trade rules must be determined by the West, not China. What does this mean? A reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is being discussed, because the Americans have understood one simple thing: that based on the currently approved rules of international trade and economy, which the United States initiated after WWII (the Bretton Woods system, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation), that determined the course of globalisation, China has achieved much greater success in playing the Americans on their field. So, WTO activities are now blocked. The United States does not allow the appointment of officers for vacancies in the Dispute Settlement Body. All claims brought to this body that the Americans would have surely lost, cannot be considered.
We are talking about creating a new system and reforming the WTO. It is being clearly said that “the new rules of international trade must be determined by the United States and Europe, not China.” That is what this is about. This underlies the concept of a rules-based order.
You asked about the potential outcome of the upcoming elections in European countries, in particular, Germany. This is a question that only the German people and the peoples of the other EU countries can answer.
I have already covered the prospects for the “emancipation” of the EU from the United States.
Question: The United States often introduces sanctions against foreign companies or countries by suspending them from SWIFT, a major financial tool, which they use by virtue of their position of hegemony in the world. As a matter of fact, many countries, including China and even some European countries are suffering from SWIFT, which is controlled by the United States. Recently, the Russian government said the dollar might be removed from the country’s currency reserve. The Chinese government has started issuing digital currency. In theory, digital currency could lead to the creation of a new international financial system, which would significantly alleviate the threat of being suspended from SWIFT. What do you propose that Russia and China do to create a new international financial transaction system and reduce their financial dependence on the US?
Sergey Lavrov: Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a detailed answer to this question when speaking at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum last week. We are not looking to pull out of the existing system, which largely relies on the dollar. The problems stem from the United States being unaware of its responsibility as the country issuing the main reserve currency in the world, or else the US is aware but blatantly abuses its role. There are quite a few stories of how everyone argued that the dollar could be used for political purposes, which makes it unreliable. As we continue to make the point that everyone must honour the universal multilateral approach and not politicise the mechanisms that have been agreed on once and for all but rather use them to achieve objectives that underlie these mechanisms, we, of course, are considering how to respond if our colleagues show yet again their willingness to dictate and punish and use international trade and transaction leverage for this purpose
I want to note that not a single official in the West ever in my memory demanded that Russia, China or any other country be disconnected from SWIFT. That is what some politicians are calling for, but this has never been borne out either in statements by officials from leading Western countries or in SWIFT administration statements.
We really want, and this was officially announced, to remove the dollar from our economy and our financial system. The other day a decision was taken to cease holding the country’s gold and forex reserves in dollars. Appropriate measures have already been taken. But I want to emphasise again that this does not mean that we are discarding the dollar altogether, however, for the reasons mentioned earlier we are interested in relying more on other currencies, including national currencies, in bilateral trade with our partners, including our Chinese partners, other SCO members and many other countries. We are also ready to support transactions that are not denominated in dollars and but that are based on the use of other currencies.
In this context, crypto-currency is a very popular topic today. China is vigorously developing it and has achieved remarkable results. We are also working on this in a substantive manner. I believe there will be a time when crypto currencies will play a significant role and occupy a considerable niche in international settlements, but it might be better to discuss the details of this with economists. The Russian Foreign Ministry watches political developments. We are concerned about how to make sure our country’s economic ties do not pose threats to our security.
Question: Currently, a fairly intensive three-way process is underway to restore transport connections in the region. This process involves Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan, but not Turkey, which was a full participant in the last war in Karabakh and which is actually a party to the conflict. Meanwhile, you know that the Armenian-Turkish border has been blocked for 30 years after Armenia gained independence. This, by the way, is the only blockade on the territory of geographical Europe and transport lines are there, in particular, a railway which was built in Czarist Russia. It uses electricity from high-voltage power lines that have existed since Soviet times. Don’t you think that Turkey should be involved in this process of unblocking transport connections in the region and bear its share of the responsibility for this?
Sergey Lavrov: I would like to add that Iran does not take part in the work of this trilateral group either, and Iran is no less and, perhaps, more interested in having its interests taken into account. You asked whether we should involve Turkey in this work and make it bear responsibility. The work of the trilateral group on restoring economic ties and transport links is not about punishment; it is about resuming normal economic life, which existed until the late 1980s when the war broke out, which stopped only four years later.
Now the bloodshed is over. It ended a little later than we proposed to the parties. It is not our fault that the war lasted longer than it could have and the truce was reached later than it could have been reached. We were only intermediaries; we could not force either side to do this or that. We only convinced them that further bloodshed was pointless and extremely dangerous, first of all, for how people will continue to live on this land.
Currently, our peacekeepers are carrying out their mandate. There have been no major incidents. Both Baku and Yerevan recognise this. Any minor problems are quickly corrected. Yes, there are tensions at some sections of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan but they have nothing to do with Nagorno-Karabakh. Simultaneously with the ceasefire, the leaders of our countries agreed on November 9, 2020 to unblock all communications. This was one of the main items that was agreed upon years ago by the OSCE Minsk Group chaired by Russia, France and the United States.
Following this agreement of principle, the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan met in January. They established a trilateral working group at the prime minister level to deal exclusively with unblocking of all economic, transport and other connections in the region. The examples you gave – railways, roads and electricity lines are all subject to negotiation where professionals will prioritise opening them.
Naturally, the parties are considering the interests of their other neighbours. It would probably be unrealistic to hope that having reached agreement the three sides could neglect the views of Turkey or Iran. This would be a mistake. Many strategic routes pass through this critical area: both north-south and east-west. The most important goal is to develop relations for the long-term perspective rather than think of involving or not involving someone else.
I understand that many people say that the status of Nagorno-Karabakh remains open. This will eventually be coordinated with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. At this point, they should not worry too much about its status. Instead, they need to promote confidence measures and the settling of humanitarian issues, and help both Armenians and Azerbaijanis live together in peace, security and economic wellbeing. I can assure you that if we help establish this lifestyle in two or three years, it will be much easier to resolve all the problems of the status of this area.
I would not focus on these or other statements from the capitals of the countries in the region or the immediate parties to the conflict. Emotions tend to prevail in these statements for the most part. We urge everyone involved in this to continue to help those on the ground to remain calm and return to normal life. We are actively involved in doing this via our peacekeeping contingent and the Emergencies Ministry. The results of the efforts by the trilateral group will depend on how much the unblocking efforts help improve everyday life.
Regarding Turkey and its role in this, as I said, the participants of these trilateral discussions do consider the interests of Turkey and Iran because otherwise the opening of links will not produce the best results.
The Russia-Turkey centre is monitoring compliance with the ceasefire from Azerbaijan. With technical equipment, it ensures joint observation of the developments on the ground. This is a very useful part of this general agreement. It ensures the involvement of our Turkish colleagues in this process and is a stabilising factor.
Question: The Russia-India partnership continues to flourish even though the world is going through hard times. Our cooperation on the Sputnik V vaccine confirms this. India and all Indians are grateful for the assistance offered by our Russian friends during the receding second wave of the pandemic.
What short- and long-term lessons can the international community learn about the origin and spread of COVID-19? Some people are worried that even 18 months later, we do not know about the origin of the virus that first appeared in Wuhan. This will not help us in preventing future pandemics.
How can we balance our national responsibility and international cooperation to follow the international health regulations and help the WHO to identify and prevent future outbreaks?
Sergey Lavrov: In general, the coronavirus pandemic has certainly created an unprecedented challenge. It has become a kind of test for “true friendship.” As we know, a friend in need is a friend indeed. However, several states decided not to share their vaccines. Probably, this approach is not justified by human morality or ethics, especially under conditions of interdependence and globalisation. We share these moral principles, as do our dear Indian friends.
Thank you for your kind words about the assistance we have been providing to Indians in these difficult times. During the past month, we managed to organise several large consignments of humanitarian medical aid, including the Sputnik V vaccine and other medications. We are currently developing the production of this vaccine in India. We hope that by taking these and other steps, by pooling our efforts, we will manage to deal with this grievous disease and protect the health of our people as soon as possible.
As for revealing the source of the virus, as you know, the WHO has made serious efforts in this respect. It sent experts to China. They came from 10 countries, including Russia. They also represented related international agencies. The results of their inquiry were published immediately after their visit. They were also presented at the 74th World Health Assembly that ended last week.
You are right. There are no decisive conclusions on the initial origins of COVID-19 so far, but this is not unique. Neither WHO specialists nor we know yet the origins of the Ebola virus that appeared in the 1970s. The specialists continue working on this. As you know, I am not well versed in this discipline, but I am convinced that the specialists must continue this work without politicising it. Any attempt to politicise the situation around COVID-19 is similar to efforts we are seeing in other areas. They reflect a striving of some countries to use methods of unfair competition. We need to develop comprehensive and transparent international cooperation on further studies of the origin of the virus, and, most importantly, on overcoming the pandemic. Talk about who is to blame and who is innocent must not obstruct any response effort.
When emergencies in health protection occur, the main goal is to have strong national healthcare and sanitary-epidemiological systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed this conclusion. I think the countries with well-organised healthcare systems and a high ability to mobilise medical and other resources have made a more effective response to the challenge of the coronavirus infection.
As for international cooperation, we have been developing this for some time, practically from the start of the pandemic through both bilateral channels and via international agencies. We promote the realisation of the International Health Regulations. They were drafted at our initiative and approved by the WHO but have not yet been incorporated into practical systems in many countries. These regulations are the main instrument of international law in developing national systems for preventing and dealing with epidemics like this. So, the way out of the current crisis probably lies in coordination, transparency, as well as an ability and willingness to share experience and pool efforts.
Question: Would it be possible and desirable for the United States and Russia to undertake, as part of studying cyberspace challenges, to work on countering cyber attacks by criminal groups that use ransomware against a particular country emanating from Russia or the United States? What could the parameters of such cooperation be? Or is the level of mistrust so great that this kind of cooperation is simply not possible now?
Sergey Lavrov: We have been hearing accusations against us of all kinds of transgressions for many years now. With regard to the cyber world, I mentioned the 2016 elections. In later occurrences, a number of incidents in the United States or other countries were immediately and publicly ascribed to the Russian Federation. Not a single fact has ever been presented to us. Now, the latest incident (President Vladimir Putin commented on this at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum) is the notorious attack against Colonial Pipeline and meat processor GBS. Even you in your question wonder whether it is possible to establish cooperation between Russia and the United States on investigating such incidents and on fighting criminal groups, in particular those that demand ransom. Even from this question, it becomes clear that you are motivated by a surge in public opinion about two specific incidents. Notably, I would like to stress, that the US administration does not promote the thesis that the Russian state is responsible for these incidents.
Antony Blinken recently said that these are probably private hackers, but Russia must stop them, because they originate from its territory. As a reminder in this regard (double standards), when the problems in the United States were at their height, American social media and internet platforms were blocking access to information on a particular issue. This topic was discussed, among other things, at the OSCE and the Council of Europe. We emphasised the responsibility of the United States, just like any other country, to ensure that its citizens have 100 percent access to any kind of information. Then the American side told us: “Right, but these are the obligations of the state, and we are talking about the actions of private corporations. We cannot be responsible for their actions.” In this case, the Americans are urging Russia to find these “private operators” and still fulfil the function of the state to suppress illegal actions. Let’s make sure we all follow the rules, and that the rules are universally applicable. Any state that has signed on to the obligation to ensure freedom of access to information is obliged to do so regardless of who is hiding the information – a state entity or a private corporation. Moreover, the bulk of all information is now in the hands of private corporations.
Now, I would like to say a few words about cybersecurity. We not only want, but we have repeatedly proposed to the United States, even, perhaps, somewhat obtrusively, to deal with this issue. When, as part of the above accusations we heard in 2016 (the Obama administration began alleging these things back in October, before the election day) we were presented with claims, we reminded our American colleagues that there’s a closed channel between Moscow and Washington in case of incidents, including in cyberspace. After accusations against the Russian Federation of interfering in the US elections were loudly read out, we suggested that the Americans provide us, through this closed channel, with the facts corroborating their concerns. We sent this proposal, I think, seven times from October 2016 to January 2017, right up to the Trump inauguration. None of these proposals were answered by the Obama administration’s relevant services. Instead, an annoyed Barack Obama, at the end of his tenure, raided and seized our diplomatic property in the US and drove the diplomats out. This impulsive step was a response to our professional offers to do honest and specific work.
This is not the only example. The cybersecurity dialogue with Washington was frozen through no fault of ours. Subsequently, we proposed returning to it. In July 2017, we handed over a draft memorandum on establishing a Russian-American ICT security group. The response appeared to be positive, and we agreed to hold the first meeting in Geneva in early 2018. The US delegation went there, and the Russian delegation was on its way there, too, but when our specialists landed at the Geneva airport, they were told that the Americans canceled the meeting without providing any meaningful reason.
In September 2020, President Vladimir Putin, at his level, issued a statement on how we would want to see cooperation between the United States and the Russian Federation in developing a comprehensive programme of measures to restore cooperation in this sphere. It included specific proposals. After President Biden’s inauguration, we reaffirmed this proposal. It is being reviewed by the US administration. I hope that we will find out in Geneva the reaction of President Biden and his team. The UN is working on international cybersecurity in the context of military-political problems, and at the same time a decision was made to start developing a convention on combating cybercrime. This is exactly what happened to Colonial Pipeline and the GBS meat processing company. In both cases, a consensus was reached, although before that our Western colleagues had objections. But consensus was reached on both issues. I have reason to hope that this will help advance the bilateral dialogue as well. But most importantly, the dialogue must be conducted professionally, rather than loudly and without facts.
Question: Angela Merkel has been Germany’s chancellor for 16 years. What is your opinion of Russian-German relations over this period? How will they change?
Sergey Lavrov: This is another issue President Vladimir Putin spoke about during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). He expressed his opinion of the professionalism and experience of Chancellor Merkel and his satisfaction with their cooperation. Of course, we are monitoring the developments in Germany in the context of the upcoming elections. We hope that their outcome will ensure what I wanted to describe as continuity in our relations, but it would be better if it were not just continuity in the form of a regular dialogue, but continuity that would also take into account the lessons of the past 16 years.
When President Putin assumed his position in the Kremlin after the 2000 election, one of his first foreign visits was to Germany. He addressed the Bundestag in German. Many of us, including yours truly, perceived the emotional and positive energy of his address as the addition of a personal dimension to the previous historical reconciliation of the Russian and German nations. This was obvious. He invested a huge part of his authority and his policy into Russian-German relations, into reconciliation that should take the form of practical deeds in great many spheres. We are not to blame that our relations have cooled. Incidentally, alarming signs appeared even before 2013 or 2014. For example, in 2010, then President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev had a summit meeting with Chancellor Merkel in Meseberg. One of the decisions reached concerned the establishment of a Russian-German crisis management committee. It was not designed as a simple discussion venue, but as a body that would coordinate joint crisis settlement mechanisms. On the practical level they mentioned Transnistria. The document was coordinated, but Germany later abandoned all efforts to implement it.
Of course, we are aware that the main reason for a far from sunny state of our bilateral relations is support provided by Berlin, the EU in general and the West as a whole to the armed, bloody and anti-constitutional coup that took place in Ukraine in February 2014, barely 12 hours after Germany, France and Poland, acting through their foreign ministers, said they would guarantee compliance with the agreement on a settlement between President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. The agreement was buried by the opposition signatories the very next day. Germany, France, Poland and the EU, which these countries represented, did nothing to challenge the opposition in response to our calls; worse than that, they even encouraged the new turn of events. Those who came to power put forth their anti-Russia position in their very first statements; they called for throwing Russians out of Crimea and sent trains with armed thugs there.
Germany and other European countries closed their eyes to these developments (the United States did the same), saying that reality on the ground had changed. In addition to this extremely negative policy, they accused us of violating the rules they themselves invented, and denounced the free expression of the people’s will in Crimea as annexation. Sanctions were adopted against Russia for the failure of European diplomacy to force the opposition to honour the agreements reached with President Yanukovych through the mediation of Germany, France and Poland.
This is when it all began. But we did not get confrontational; we did not cancel the planned Russia-EU summit. Despite all of this, in 2014 President Putin attended the celebrations of the allied landing in Normandy and the opening of the Second Front. It was there that the sides coordinated the Normandy Format, which led to the signing of the Minsk Agreements in February 2015. We thought once again that the document would be honoured. But just as in the case of the February 2014 agreement, the Minsk Agreements are not being implemented, and it is deeply regrettable that Germany and France, as parties of the Normandy format, are trying to justify Kiev’s absolutely destructive position. Vladimir Zelensky said more than once that he doesn’t want to implement the Minsk Agreements, but that he wants to keep them because as long as they exist there will be sanctions against Russia. Our German, French and other colleagues have never tried to overturn this logic or as much as comment on such statements. We do want to have normal relations with Germany and work together with it to settle the crises that exist in our common space, in our neighbourhood. But we would like to see that Germany is able to honour agreements.
We appreciate Berlin’s stand in the face of US attacks on Nord Stream 2, which began during Donald Trump’s presidency. President Putin mentioned this as well. But he also pointed out that Germany has done this for a reason, because this is in the fundamental interests of Germany. Incidentally, the story with Nord Stream 2 is not over yet. I have read comments by Antony Blinken to the effect that they are discussing ways for Ukraine to preserve fees for the transit of gas to the EU. We have a transit agreement with Ukraine until 2024. What will happen after that should be discussed, but the US administration is already discussing what should be done to protect Ukraine from harm. According to Blinken, one of the possible ways is to extend the transit agreement “for many years into the future,” so that Ukraine will continue to benefit from the transit fees. If this doesn’t work out, another option is to compensate for the transit fees that Kiev may lose, which is something the Europeans should do.
In other words, the Europeans’ attitude to the issues on which we are cooperating will be put to the test many times yet. I hope very much that the German people will be guided by their interests, just as they always have been throughout their history. We are interested in strengthening our partnership as much as possible. Many people say that the Russian-German partnership and rapprochement threaten the trans-Atlantic alliance. But this is an issue for the future periods of geopolitical research.
Never was, never will be a diplomat equal to Mr. Sergei Lavrov.
I have a feeling that meeting in Geneva won’t happen. Biden will bail out on some ridiculous pretext using the media spotlight to further western agenda.
RE: Friend on June 10, 2021 · at 11:42 am EST/EDT
“Never was, never will be a diplomat equal to Mr. Sergei Lavrov.”
Evaluation is a function of context and context a function of time.
Resort to comparatives is a function and facilitator of coercive social relations clothed in equal but different where “but” precludes equal.
Cooperative social relations are predicated on practices of equal and different, and hence do not depend on comparatives of perceived commonalities, given that difference is accepted and hence no common graduated measure can be found to facilitate comparison, despite opponents resort to whataboutism.
Hence Mr. Lavrov’s statement:
“I am grateful for the invitation to speak again at the Primakov Readings International Forum. It is one of the most highly respected international venues for a committed professional dialogue, although probably the youngest. I would like to thank the leadership of Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) for suggesting the idea of this forum and for the commendable organisation of this year’s event amid the COVID-19 restrictions.
I would like to welcome all the forum’s participants, who represent the Russian and international community of experts and political analysts. A dialogue on all aspects of the current international order is especially important at this stage.
These readings are integrally connected with the intellectual heritage of Yevgeny Primakov, an outstanding statesman. It was during his term as the Foreign Minister of Russia that the principles of Russia’s current foreign policy were formulated. ”
where in Mr. Lavrov does not restort to comparisons using a common graduated measure, but acknowledges that Mr. Primakov and others were/are equal and different.
“I have a feeling that meeting in Geneva won’t happen.
Biden will bail out on some ridiculous pretext using the media spotlight to further western agenda.”
Evaluation is also a function of the interactions of purpose and facility including the derivation of significance.
Perhaps not all assign the same significance that Mr. Biden does to “a feeling that meeting in Geneva won’t happen” ?
This variation of assignment of significance facilitates bathos and conditioned responses, as in chequers/dominos.
Biden keeps throwing stones at Putin. It is personal with Joe.
What topic could possibly bring some comity to the Summit? Global Warming/Climate Change.
Rattling NATO sabers and threatening more sanctions and much more of the same demonization is all Biden has in his quiver.
Putin’s replies will come in the follow on press conference.
This Summit has no goal, no purpose of relieving pressures or beginning meaningful steps away from conflict.
It’s a Rope-a Dope match, like Ali-Foreman. Biden will punch himself into fatigue and Putin will knock him out when Joe’s guard is dropped.
I’m hoping at the end of short press conference, Putin will look over at sleepy Joe and say “Cmon man, lets take some more questions. Joe will then either have to slowly walk away, while Putin continues to take questions or fall asleep in his chair.
This is absolutely correct. It is a photo op for Biden who will go home and say all sorts of insulting nonsense about how he ‘schooled Putin/Russia’ it is childish opportunism but it is all that the US has at its disposal. I can see little constructive to come from this meeting and certainly nothing concrete. Maybe we can be pleasantly surprised by something but I doubt very much this will be the case. If Biden follows Obamas doctrine his aim is to ‘park’ Russia and focus (pivot) to China. Trade (or should we say hegemony in trade) is everything to the US and in those terms China is the main threat. The Americans may offer the RF a rest but will not cease to provoke in areas like Belarus, Ukraine and perhaps Syria. In short, nothing changes. This is what the West offers, status quo, as it tries desperately to cling to its influence and status which ebbs away more every day. Its ‘re-invention’ via the so called rules based order baloney is just that, rehashed failure barely warmed up. Lavrov and Russia are wise to this. I expect things to continue vis a vis China/Russia intertwining without the need for formal agreements/ratifications. Russia is prepared, America is adrift in a sea of impending disasters and should pay more attention to its domestic calumny for that is where collapse will come.
Why would Biden want a photo op? He looks frail and confused, can’t keep his acronyms straight, and needs his wife to remind him to “pay attention” when he blanks…
Any photo op / press conference would only highlight the US leader’s decrepitude next to the vitality and mental sharpness of Putin. (Putin is 10 years younger but he has also clearly looked after himself).
This whole summit is going to be a nothingburger. The US have made a mistake in asking for it and this will become painfully clear when everyone realises they have nothing to say.
American rulers are merely figurehead rulers to begin with.
That has been true for a very long time–from Bush to Obama to Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
American rulers thus don’t have to think or even speak coherently. Just look at retarded drivel that came out of the mouths of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush or Donald Trump.
They just have to do whatever the American military-spook apparatus tell them to do.
Blinken Props Up Biden in European Charade for New Cold War
The DC regime is incorrigible and beyond any hope of future reform, but it will still be important to document for historical purposes the fact that peaceful overtures were made by certain responsible parties, and then dutifully rejected by certain legacy parties, who unfortunately remain mired in 20th century delusions of hegemonic grandeur. Lavrov and Putin will be venerated by future generations for their roles here, while if there’s any justice in the world, US AZ “leadership,” of which Biden is just the latest pale imitation, will be held accountable in suitable international war criminal tribunals. Either way, the US way of doing business – roughly “our way or the highway” – is toast.
Lavrov has certainly changed his tune.
He actually used the words “messianic zeal” to describe the West…
Both sides are coming in with a lot of hostility ahead of the Geneva meeting / clash/ next week:
Biden with his usual aggressive rhetoric, Russia dumping the USD (in favour of Euro) and announcing large scale navy exercises in the Pacific.
Expect the US to take some “legal action”, like a major arrest of a hacker, a seizure of someone that will be headlines right before the summit.
The US is there for a propaganda show, to establish Biden is strong and the US is back, and everyone better kiss Uncle Sam’s arse.
The press conference may be dual, a few questions to each.
But Putin through Peskov has already promised open end Q&A, unlimited dual, whatever the international press may want.
Biden can’t handle the potential dangers of a free wheeling press conference.
With all the major news outfits in the pocket of the CIA or Mi6, don’t expect anything good to come out from the Questions.
Putin will have only his answers, right away, to go deep into his answers and lay traps for Joe to respond.
Biden will need all the help he can get to clean up his mess. The harder he hits in the actual meeting, the harder Putin will be in public.
I think the US ideologues/Russophobes and neocons have come to the conclusion that they will wait for Putin to leave power and spend the decade running an hybrid war, trying to continue hurting the Russian economy, mind-massaging the youth against the Russian society and government, and burden the military wherever it goes. So, this is just INFOwar, no attempt at detente or arms controls. The US needs no arms controls in order to try to get back atop the military dominance stack.
The Russian security sector (INTEL and MIL) would like better deconfliction communications with the US. This is one goal for Putin. Presently, the Russian and US militaries only have the Arctic Council and the Syrian deconfliction communications. These are not big enough to defuse the strategic and tactical nuclear issues, especially with NATO flying so close to Russian borders, and the US agitating Japan to join in along the Far East.
Whether the two leaders can agree on this only the actual meeting will tell.
As for the Russians getting a deal from Biden, that is nonsense. Russia has nothing to give. So what deal could be struck?
I totally agree that Biden has a lot of pressure to “look tough” at the summit.
However, the US administration are the ones who have called this meeting, so presumeably they have something they want to talk about…? If It’s only tough talk & threats then it will backfire.
The Russians seem to going in with very low expectations…
Americans have nothing to give either.
Their idea that Russia would change her politics after Putin is no more is a proof of the ‘situational unawaerness’ and incapacity to wrap their minds around the fact that Russia’s politics are not a matter of ‘personalities’. Ditto for China.
The rule is whenever you make things personal you will always lose. I do not hear personal judgements from Mr. Lavorov or President Putin. Tells you something according to the above rule.
As a Russian I am against this summit. Considering all the movements and quality of diplomatic process in recent years, the West is capable of anything. Not panicking or anything, just observing.
It is possible that Putin’s strategy for the Summit is to let Biden play out his powerlessness. Then the POTUS will have to consider that the US and he, in particular, can do nothing to change the coming arc of history.
China and Russia are unstoppable. Eurasia has only one hold out for now, India. All other nations, large and small, know for certain that their economic development will never happen if they cling to the West. Thus, Eurasian Integration is the agreed upon goal. It is very easy to see that only a large war could derail it.
The US is on a path to save its “Empire”. If China was alone, the US could remain the Hegemon. But China has Russia, and both coordinate to bring the Hegemon to an end.
Putin is determined to take down NATO and the US. Both are overmatched by Russian military weapons and defenses. All the rest of the world sees this. It creates a cognitive dissonance in the vassals and friends of the West. Putin intends for this psychological factor to generate fissures and ultimate break down of the Hegemon.
Dear Larchmonter, i support what you have written, there are serious work our leaders are doing. I am no expert, but i have seen things. Russia evidently is under attack right now, on many fronts and for many years, covertly, internally. There are serious problems, that are not being adressed. Provocative, agressive, antirussian behavior in cultural sphere. Russian cyberspace is on another level completely, as you can guess. it feels like an attack on my identity. Like an extreme psychological warfare, it is very demoralising and it is increasing, becoming more radical year by year. It kinda motivates you even, makes you want to fight it, but you cant really do anything on your own and the government is silent or too soft for the most part. Arrests and statements looks like a compromise, corruption is exposed and being shoved to our faces, but these people continue to work. It almost feels like that there is no political will to bring it all under control. I trust my leader, he is fighting for us, but there are things that we, ordinary citizens, just can’t know, so please, forgive me if im not cheerful enough. I am against this summit, even Putin said there will be no breakthroughs. It all can be discussed via videoconference, it will be sufficient, public will see everything anyway. There is no trust. Underestimating a powerful state, that calls you your archenemy is irresponsible, in my view, there are too much at stake. And giving the hostile people the physical access to your body in a not so neutral territory, especially in a unstable situation like this is… questionable. That is my opinion, i pray that im the crazy person here, there are things that i just cant know, but also i cannot ignore reality here, on the ground.
Vodolazz. I concur with your final comment. I worry for the Russian leadership in this situation. If President Putin and bidet were to be removed at the same time it would be a win win for the us, give them deniability, and the opportunity to blame whomsoever they wished. I too see no upside, none whatsoever, for Russia in Geneva.
The take down of Navalny, his minions, and now the branding of his (CIA’s) organization as extremist is using the law, the justice system, and shows the work of the FSB is all over the color revolution activists.
Russia’s culture has been undermined for a century by Liberals, by Europhiles who hate Russia.
It just gets magnified and accelerated by Internet and Streaming social media.
Putin, Bortnikov, Naryshkin, Petrushev, Shoigu, Gerasimov are all over the Fifth Columnists, the CIA, the State Dept, Mi6 and the traitors.
Have faith. Judge things by how worried the West is. Note their panic moves. Be aware that their proxies and stooges are the dunces and weakest of society.
The facts are the US trembles at the thought of what Russia is and will be.
actually there are 3, iran is definitely part of the axis. iran holds sway in the middle east & is the bedrock of hezbollah, hamas, yemen, syria, iraq, alongside russia, which means the heartland of the apartheid state (the puppet master of the usa). i agree putin knows he will gain little, i’m convinced he already knows the extent of biden’s brain malfunction, however, putin always acts with reason & attends protocol. o/c if the demented empire could assassinate putin they believe it would be a win for them, but like hezbollah & china & iran, their reserves are deep (one only has to look @ putin’s cabinet to know the extent of that depth), the axis of resistance are not based on one individual but a knowledge & commitment to a cause of reason & justice & love of country & the world that far outshines anything the demented empire can even begin to imagine. what it imagines is that all the world is as evil, corrupt & incompetent as it is, typical of all psychopaths to only see in others what you your self are. the meeting is historical, from it will mark the next stage. it will not be a gathering to smoke a peace pipe, putin will do his best to ensure it doesn’t get too silly.
RE: Larchmonter445 on June 11, 2021 · at 12:32 am EST/EDT
“Putin is determined to take down NATO and the US. “
” These principles are independence, pragmatism, a multi-vector approach, respect for international law and openness to cooperation with anyone who is willing to interact on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
These principles have been incorporated in the Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, which was approved in 2000 after Vladimir Putin’s election as President of Russia and subsequently modified.
The current wording of the Concept was adopted in 2016. But the principles I have mentioned, which Academician Primakov formulated, remain effective to this day.”
As Mr. Lavrov acknowledges from his own cooperation/participation, these practices were cooperatively implemented and modified with limited public fanfare prior to being afforded greater public transparency by way of Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation as a component within the ongoing lateral process of the transcendence of the “Soviet Union” and other coercive social relations by the Russian Federation and its associates.
Another acknowledgement that these practices were cooperatively implemented and modified throughout this lateral ongoing process of transcendence is the replacement of the previous Russian constitution donated by thought they were deciders in assigning primacy to “The President”, by the new Russian constitution which the aforementioned thought they were deciders attempted to characterise as assigning primacy/longevity to “the President”.
The opponents continue to live in halls of mirrors and hence tend to see a distorted image of themselves, including but not limited to the illusions/derivatives of exceptionalism, sole/prime agency and the roles of “great men of history” (or the end of history as was the hope of one so immersed), a reliance predicated on competitive interactions inherent in coercive social relations precluding cooperations by design, thereby facilitating the opponents complicity in their own transcendence in potential cooperation with all seeking the transcendence of coercive social relations by cooperative social relations.
The coercive social relations self designated as “The United States of America”, which are not restricted to an imagined community with Alaska and Canada to the north and Mexico to the south, is at “war” in various forms with the world including itself , thereby attaining the exceptionalism of being/becoming surplus to requirements except temporarily as a catalyst of its own transcendence.
“The US is on a path to save its “Empire”
That has been its trajectory/hope throughout in emulation of all would like to be “Empires”.
That it has been and self-perceived to be its hope throughout, is an indicator that it has never been “hegemonic” and that sole agency is never an option in interactions, which is attempted to be obfuscated by the conflation of attempt with achievement.
The understanding of all above informed and continues to frame/inform the policies of the Russian Federation and its cooperators including but not restricted to “The United States of America”.
The Primakov Readings International Forum, via videoconference, Moscow, June 9, 2021
RE: Larchmonter445 on June 11, 2021 · at 12:32 am EST/EDT
Mr. Yeltsin did have the advisors/connections, including the 1996 election team.
However as in many things during the 1980’s and 90’s Mr. Khasbalatov’s interpretation of the interactions are misguided and self-serving.
The ongoing lateral process of the transcendence of the “Soviet Union” by the Russian Federation was facilitated by the cooperation by default or by design of many including Mr. Yeltsin, Mr. Zhirinovsky, Mr. Khasbalatov, and others who thought themselves advisors/connections of Mr. Yeltsin.
Mr. Zhirinovsky often undertook the role of “self-evident useful fool” in his interactions with Mr. Yeltsin for the “self-evident advisors/connections audience”, including regular cooperatiion in facilitating narratives such as “That bastard Zhirinovsky is always in the way undermining my position to the advantage of “the communists” so I can’t yet do what you want – you need to help me out.”
Representative democracy is a way of transferring agency to others, the purposes and utilities of doing so were interpreted differently by Mr. Khasbalatov and Mr. Yeltsin – supported by others not including Mr. Yeltsin’s “self-evident advisors/connections” – and hence in the view of some, the outcomes with the most utility were the donation of a constitution which was enhanced prior to Mr. Yeltsin’s retirement, and the “management” of the 1996 Presidential election in Russia, which in part facilitated:
Mr. Lavrov’s recent reference to multi-vector facilitation applies as do:
“as a Chinese saying goes, such periods also offer enormous opportunities, which we must make use of to boost cooperation in the interests of all nations. “
Presumably this meeting Biden who calls Pres Putin just Mr Putin…will need a whole lotta analysis afterwards…..and might need time to reflect on with varioys meetings forums eg Duma…Security Council etc …which could mean a very very interesting next Direct Line with Pres.Putin when the timing of that will be decided when sufficient post meeting analysis has been made…… ?
Russia seems perhaps just about happy or content keeping Turkey under control re Armenia Azerhaijahn….yet after Russia and SAA forces deleted 3 high level members HTS in Idlib yesterday… both Turkish miitary and proxy shelled the Syrian army. Hmm. Sad about IDF attacking Damascus from over Lebanon again too .
Putin debería enviar un doble – imitador. No confio en esos bastardos masones liberales.
It might be useful to compare the relationship with the USA, and its retinue of “hyenas, jackals and chihuahuas” (Pepe Escobar), with a relationship with an alcoholic.
The alcoholic often cannot remember what he did from one day to the next. He has no friends. He often explodes in an incomprehensible rage – especially the “morning after” and before he gets his daily supply of booze.
One could go on and on. The point is that the alcoholic is not really capable of much in the way of adult behaviour. It is, however, important for there to be “an adult in the room” when he’s around. It helps to reduce the clumsy damage that he will inevitably “accomplish”. lol.
So, Vladimir Vladimirovich has the unpleasant task of being the adult in the room. Otherwise, why the hell would you agree to such a meeting??
Good on him and glad it’s not me.
Problem z przywódcami zachodnimi jest nieskomplikowany- moim zdaniem.
Jakie informacje kształtuja ich poglądy?
Tkwia w bańce informacyjnej wykształconej przez media i ich sponsorów, think- tanki sponsorowane przez zainteresowanych, organizacje wywiadu uzależnione od znalezienia wroga- sensu swego istnienia.
Fałszywe informacje na wejściu, daja fałszywe wnioski na wyjsciu.
Konfrontacja jest bardziej dochodowa niż współpraca.
Pan Biden jest więźniem bańki informacyjnej w której tkwi od półwiecza.
Czy tej sytuacji można się przeciwstawić?
Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, Buchanan, próbowali….
Google-translate from Mod:
The problem with Western leaders is uncomplicated – in my opinion.
What do they read?
What information does their views shape?
It is in an information bubble educated by the media and their sponsors, Think – tanks sponsored by interested, intelligence organizations depend on finding a enemy existence.
False information at the entrance, give false applications on the output.
The confrontation is more profitable than cooperation.
Mr. Biden is a prisoner of an information bubble in which it is from half-century.
Can you oppose this situation?
Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, Buchanan, tried ….
Jak wygląda świat “Oparty na ZASADACH”?
Tak jak w Meksyku, Mali, Sudanie, setce innych krajów zdominowanych przez marionetki kontrolowane przez Zachód.
Taki swiat jest zachodnią ofertą, modelem docelowym dla miliardów ludzi.
Poza emigracją, nie mają oni żadnych perspektyw- poza kilkoma krajami azjatyckimi, mającymi sensownych przywódców.
100 lat testów świata “opartego na zasadach” chyba wystarczy.
Czas wypróbować inne modele.
W tym kontekście, model chiński czy rosyjski, może być atrakcyjny.
Zniszczenie ich, pozbawi świat alternatywy, przeciwwagi.
A podobno, mamy wolność wyboru w demokracji…
Google-translate from Mod:
Such a world is the western offer, the target model for billions of people.
In addition to emigration, they do not have any perspectives – apart from several Asian countries, having meaningful leaders.
100 years of the world tests “based on the principles” probably enough.
Time to try other models.
In this context, the Chinese or Russian model can be attractive.
Destruction of them will deprive the world of alternatives, counterweights.
And apparently, we have freedom of choice in democracy …
I just keep picking up the same vibe/or feeling that this speech and respective question and answers are directed at the rest of the world and not so much those in actual attendance (who know this information, but are going through the motions to tell us their reasoning.)
His conclusion puts it in that frame.
“We, incidentally, have no superpower ambitions, no matter how hard some people try to convince themselves and everyone else of the opposite. Nor do we have the messianic zeal, with which our Western colleagues are attempting to spread their axiological “democratising” agenda to the rest of the world.”
This comment reveals the essence of those vaunted Western and American core values.
The collective West in general and the Anglo Americans in particular are crusader empires and crusader civilizations.
They possess a fanatical belief that the collective West is “defending” democracy or freedom around the world–even as they wage multiple wars of aggression, economic siege warfare, political destabilization, and Two Minutes of Hate media campaigns.
If fact, there is a direct relationship between these two realities:
The more crimes against humanity that the collective West and America are guilty of, the more they need to beat their chest about their messianic pretensions.
There is no greater example of this sick mentality than the United States of America.
RE: Anonymous on June 11, 2021 · at 5:45 pm EST/EDT
“They possess a fanatical belief that the collective West is “defending” democracy or freedom around the world”
Words are catalysts of connotations and connotations are derived by experience of/with social relations.
This belief of defending is based on chosen definitions of “democracy” and “freedom” which renders it not belief but interactions in pursuit of the sustainability of coercive social relations which define/facilitate them.
Mr. Bush intoned that “they (others) hate our freedom” without defining “our freedom”.
The freedom which some hate is the freedom of others to coerce and destroy them.
Facilitated by acceptance by some “we the people hold these truths to be self-evident” “representative democracy” is the transfer of agency to another in emulation of the pre-requisite of equal but different which replicates/sustains their coercive social relations.
Consequently “the collective West is “defending” democracy or freedom around the world” – it is not a belief – but different defininitions of “democracy” and “freedom” than those believed by others, which they are defending.
“The more crimes against humanity that the collective West and America are guilty of, the more they need to beat their chest about their messianic pretensions.”
“Guilt” is also a function of definition and facility – the facility to define guilt,define the guilty, to prove guilt sufficient to “convince” the audience that guilt exists and is a reasonable concept, to chastise the guilty to encourage the others, in the hope of maintaining coercive social relation which define guilt and facilitate conformance.
Since definition of guilt, practices facilitating conformance, and coercive social relations continue to exist, the opponents do not only have “messianic pretentions”, but in some measure they have “messianic practices” facilitated by the complicity of others through/within various vectors, including the conflation of “law” with “justice”.
In large part that was the reason for, and the subject of the recent 2021 G7 meeting/negotiation – an attempt at “lawfare” in the hope of continuing the obfuscation of the “rule of (some) men” by an ideological construct “the rule of law” in hope of continuing coercive social relations from which some men derive more “benefit” than other men – an example of equal but different.
However maintaining such illusions require continual effort/interactions which afford others opportunities to demystify “the rule of law” rendered more apparent when the interactions cross jurisdictions, particulary in matters of extradition.
Useful examples include, but are not restricted to alleged “precedents” in regard to Mr. Pinochet which are being reversed/”unprecedented” in regard to Mr. Assange, causing those whose roles are to limit challenge to maintain conformance Pandora’s boxes of paradoxes, which if subjected to the “solutions” for Gordian knots practiced by a former person carrying the designation of Great, would remove a pillar upon which the coercive social relations are facilitated – another example of a Samson option.
In contrast, what is designated as “international law” as the basis of cooperation with the Russian Federation and its associates were and are to be cooperatively designed, implemented, evaluated and modified- an example of equal and different – no more “United Nations” where effectively “The Security Council” controls whilst others conform in emulation of “Representative Democracy”, more realistically designated as playing charades.
People shouldn’t be concerned with the health and safety of President Putin. Russia is not a one man show and killing him, the enormous effort that it entails, will achieve no purpose.
What seems much more probable is the death of the man who lives on borrowed time. Ol’ Joe might drop dead during or after the conference, Russia accused of murder, and EU forced to stand in transgenderatlantic solidarity and cut all ties with Russia.
“Of course, we are aware that the main reason for a far from sunny state of our bilateral relations is support provided by Berlin, the EU in general and the West as a whole to the armed, bloody and anti-constitutional coup that took place in Ukraine in February 2014, barely 12 hours after Germany, France and Poland, acting through their foreign ministers, said they would guarantee compliance with the agreement on a settlement between President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition.”
Reading Lavrov’s speeches and comparing them to the stinking, mendacious hogwash passing for official statements from Russia’s adversaries, one almost gets the eerie feeling that the latter belong to a considerably lower species. That impression is further reinforced by the tangible outcomes of their evil insanity. The Nazi putsch in “Ukraine” turned the latter into a failed state all along the line — deindustrialized, depopulating, and with certifiable mental patients officially in charge. The intent behind the Maidan Nazi coup — evicting/murdering Crimea’s Russian population and military presence handing everything immediately over to NATO — was defeated on the spot. As Lavrov correctly is hinting at here, this was when the bilateral relations really took a turn for the worse (not that they were particularly “constructive” before).
If there is anything worth mentioning where Lavrov’s judgment appears questionable, that would be his overall positive assessment of another mental asylum (outside the hardcore West proper): Modi’s India, which has a very similar role pestering China as “Ukraine” is playing with regard to Russia. Both are pathetic vassals with horrendous corruption, violence, crime, incompetence, and fanaticism as the very defining characteristics of their societies.
”If Russia doesnt stop sounding like a pleading baby, and start fighting back, I fear the the only outcome will be a war.”
Sounds interesting. Why, then, after 20+ years with Putin in charge of the country does Russia still stand while the West is going down the toilet? Setbacks and defeats for Western imperialism make some people unhappy here; that’s for sure.