Tag Archives: Lavrov

Russian diplomat resigns over Ukraine

Brussels 24.05.2022 A veteran Russian diplomat to the United Nations Office in Geneva on Monday, May 23, said he had handed in his resignation before sending out a scathing letter to foreign colleagues inveighing against the “aggressive war unleashed” by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. Nothing was said about Boris Bondarev (pictured) further steps, if intended to return to Russia, or he asked for a political asylum in Switzerland.

The bowing out civil servant published his open letter on his LinkedIn page:
“Long overdue, but today I resign from civil service. Enough is enough.
For twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24 of this year. The aggressive war unleashed by Putin against Ukraine, and in fact against the entire Western world, is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country.

“Those who conceived this war want only one thing – to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity. To achieve that they are willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes. Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have already died just for this.

“I regret to admit that over all these twenty years the level of lies and unprofessionalism in the work of the Foreign Ministry has been increasing all the time. However, in most recent years, this has become simply catastrophic. Instead of unbiased information, impartial analysis and sober forecasting, there are propaganda clichés in the spirit of Soviet newspapers of the 1930s. A system has been built that deceives itself.
Minister Lavrov is a good illustration of the degradation of this system. In 18 years, he went from a professional and educated intellectual, whom many my colleagues held in such high esteem, to a person who constantly broadcasts conflicting statements and threatens the world (that is, Russia too) with nuclear weapons!
“Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred. It serves interests of few, the very few people thus contributing to further isolation and degradation of my country. Russia no longer has allies, and there is no one to blame but its reckless and ill-conceived policy.
“I studied to be a diplomat and have been a diplomat for twenty years. The Ministry has become my home and family. But I simply cannot any longer share in this bloody, witless and absolutely needless ignominy”.

Lavrov denounces NATO arrogance

Brussels 16.03.2022 Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told RBC News that “neutral status is now being seriously discussed along, of course, with security guarantees.”

The ‘arrogant’ US-led West ignored Moscow’s proposed security guarantees following many years of admonitions and exhortations from the Russian side regarding NATO’s steady eastward expansion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“Once the Warsaw Pact dissolved, and even after the Soviet Union became extinct, NATO, at its own discretion and without consultations whatsoever with anyone, who had been a part of the balance of power on the European continent, set out on moving eastward and kept moving the line of the defence, pushing it further and further in the direction to the east,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s RBC TV channel.

“When this line was pushed right up [to Russian borders] and all our admonitions over the past 20 years were not taken seriously, we drafted our own initiatives on European security and they, to our deep disappointment, have been shrugged off by our arrogant Western partners,” Lavrov explained.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on March 12 that the previously proposed security guarantees to the United States and NATO were no longer valid because the situation has dramatically changed.

EU sanctions against Putin and Lavrov

Brussels 27.02.2022 Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine: EU imposes sanctions against President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov and adopts wide ranging individual and economic sanctions
The EU today decided to sanction Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation and Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

The Council also agreed on a further package of individual and economic measures covering also Belarus to respond to the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression carried out by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
President Putin and his government started a war against an independent, sovereign neighbouring country. The behaviour of the Russian leadership constitutes a major threat to international peace and security. Today, we are replying with the strongest possible restrictive measures. The European Union is united in its resolve, together with international partners and allies, to defend the peace order, international law and the rules based system.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Swiftly implementing the European Council conclusions of 24 February, the package of sanctions adopted today includes:

Individual sanctions
In addition to freezing the assets the Russian President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the EU will impose restrictive measures on the members of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation who supported Russia’s immediate recognition of the two non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities. Sanctions will also be extended to the remaining members of the Russian State Duma, who ratified the government decision of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation and the two entities.

Furthermore, the EU will also target those individuals, who facilitated the Russian military aggression from Belarus.

Economic sanctions
Financial sanctions
The package adopted today further expands the existing financial restrictions, thereby cutting Russian access to the most important capital markets. It also prohibits the listing and provision of services in relation to shares of Russian state-owned entities on EU trading venues. In addition, it introduces new measures which significantly limit the financial inflows from Russia to the EU, by prohibiting the acceptance of deposits exceeding certain values from Russian nationals or residents, the holding of accounts of Russian clients by the EU Central Securities Depositories, as well as the selling of euro-denominated securities to Russian clients.

These sanctions will target 70% of the Russian banking market, and key state-owned companies, including in the field of defence. They will increase Russia’s borrowing costs, raise inflation and gradually erode Russia’s industrial base. Additionally measures are taken to prevent the Russian elite’s fortunes from being hidden in safe havens in Europe.

Energy sector
The EU will prohibit the sale, supply, transfer or export to Russia of specific goods and technologies in oil refining, and will introduce restrictions on the provision of related services.

By introducing such export ban, the EU intends to hit the Russian oil sector, and make it impossible for Russia to upgrade its oil refineries.

Russia’s export revenues accounted for EUR 24 billion in 2019.

Transport sector
The EU introduced an export ban covering goods and technology in the aviation and space industry, as well as a prohibition on the provision of insurance and reinsurance and maintenance services related to those goods and technology. The EU will also prohibit the provision of related technical and financial assistance.

This ban on the sale of all aircrafts, spare parts and equipment to Russian airlines will degrade one of the key sectors of Russia’s economy and the country’s connectivity, as three quarters of Russia’s current commercial air fleet were built in the EU, the US and Canada.

Technology sector
The EU imposed further restrictions on exports of dual-use goods and technology, as well as restrictions on exports of certain goods and technology which might contribute to Russia’s technological enhancement of its defence and security sector.

This will include products such as semiconductors or cutting-edge technologies.

Visa policy
Diplomats, other Russian officials, and business people will no longer be able to benefit from visa facilitation provisions, which allow privileged access to the EU. This decision will not affect ordinary Russian citizens. The decision will enter into force on the day of the adoption.

The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, as well as the involvement of Belarus in this aggression.

The European Union demands that Russia immediately ceases its military actions, unconditionally withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders. The European Council calls on Russia and Russia-backed armed formations to respect international humanitarian law and stop their disinformation campaign and cyber-attacks.

The use of force and coercion to change borders has no place in the 21st century. Tensions and conflict should be resolved exclusively through dialogue and diplomacy. The EU will continue cooperating closely with neighbours and reiterates its unwavering support for, and commitment to, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and of the Republic of Moldova. It will continue strong coordination with partners and allies, within the UN, OSCE, NATO and the G7.

The relevant legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned by restrictive measures, will be published in the Official Journal.

Background
Individual restrictive measures will apply to a total of 654 individuals and 52 entities, and include an asset freeze and a prohibition from making funds available to the listed individuals and entities. In addition, a travel ban applicable to the listed persons prevents these from entering or transiting through EU territory.

Kosovo: EU calls to de-escalate

Brussels 26.09.2021 “I continue to follow the situation in the north of Kosovo closely. Serbia and Kosovo need to unconditionally de-escalate the situation on the ground, by immediately withdrawing special police units and dismantling of roadblocks. Any further provocations or unilateral and uncoordinated actions are unacceptable” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

“Kosovo and Serbia must find solutions to defuse the situation and agree on the way forward. The EU will actively support these efforts. Both Kosovo and Serbian leaders are fully responsible for any risks to the safety and well-being of local communities is on both Kosovo and Serbia. I stressed this in my calls with President Vucic and Prime Minister Kurti this week.

“The EU-facilitated Dialogue continues to be the only platform to address and resolve all open issues between the Parties, including those related to freedom of movement and licence plates, and I strongly urge Kosovo and Serbia to use it. Both Chief Negotiators coming to Brussels in the coming days is a first positive step. It is crucial that they come with a mandate to discuss the way forward and find sustainable solutions that are in the interests of the citizens.

“We repeat that we expect both Kosovo and Serbia to return to fostering an environment conducive to reconciliation, regional stability and cooperation for the benefit of their citizens. This is crucial for reaching a comprehensive and legally-binding agreement on normalisation of their relations, which is necessary for both to advance on their respective European paths.

“I am in close touch with NATO Secretary General, whom I thank for the excellent cooperation between KFOR and EULEX. KFOR plays a key role in supporting regional stability in the Western Balkans”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN General Assembly: “When it is beneficial to the West, the right of peoples to self-determination is elevated to an absolute. And then, in violation of the UN Security Council resolution, they recognise the artificially created formation of Kosovo, which was forcibly torn away from Serbia. No one is embarrassed that the Malvins are 12 thousand km from Britain…”

Kremlin draws unfriendly states list

Brussels 17.05.2021 The Czech Republic and the United States have been put on Russia’s blacklist of unfriendly states because of their hostile steps against Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday, May 17. (Image: Moscow, Russia, photo Evgeny Grabovsky)

Russia to judge US calls to normalization by actions, not words, top diplomat says
“Their unfriendly steps were the reason why we took a decision to even the conditions our diplomatic missions are working on in each other’s territories – ours in the Czech Republic and the United States, and, correspondingly, theirs in Russia. As a concrete step that had already been announced, we asked them to reduce their locally hired personnel, both Russian nationals and citizens of third countries, to the level of the analogous category of employees we have in our missions in the Czech Republic and the United States,” he told a news conference when answering a TASS question.

He noted that the Czech Republic was “disgracefully” trying to get out of the situation “with the explosions of seven years ago.” “No one has been able to explain what the investigation has been doing all these years,” he said. “They are tying themselves into knots, so to say, inventing more and more theories. They’d better straighten out the tangle before expelling diplomats and accusing them of what the investigation has not yet found out. And, by the way, judging by how they are doing it, the investigation is unlikely to yield any concrete results,” he said.

“In the United States, you know, our diplomatic property was arrested and for years we have been denied access there to see the condition Russia’s national property that was illegally seized is in. Expulsions of Russian diplomats happen regularly,” Lavrov said, adding that Moscow had repeatedly warned that it could not last forever.

Last Friday, Russia made public a government-endorsed list of unfriendly states featuring only the United States and the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic will be allowed to hire no more than 19 Russian nationals to work for its embassy, and the United States, not a single one.

“The European Union deplores the publication of Measures in “Response to Unfriendly Actions of Foreign States”, following the unprecedented Decree signed by President Putin on 23 April. The EU considers the allegations of unfriendly actions as unfounded”.

“This Decree is incompatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 with regard to the duties of the host state to secure the functioning of diplomatic missions.

“We call on Russia to review its decision, to avoid a further deterioration of our relationship that is already under strain. The EU will continue to coordinate its position with its partners.

“We express full solidarity with the Czech Republic, an EU Member State, and the United States of America and call on Russia to fully respect the Vienna Convention”.

Russia retaliates U.S.measures

Brusssels 16.04.2021 Moscow will shortly publish a list of eight senior US officials and public figures that will be permanently banned from entering Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on Friday, April 16. (Image above: Moscow City).

“Soon, the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry will publish the names of eight current and former American high-ranking officials and public figures involved in developing and implementing the anti-Russian policy course. They will be permanently banned from entering the Russian Federation. This is a tit-for-tat measure in response to the sanctions against Russian officials blacklisted by the US last month,” the statement says.

Moscow calls on Washington to display wisdom and reject confrontation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement Friday, adding that now is high time to do so. “It is high time for the US to display wisdom and reject the confrontational course. Otherwise, we will implement a set of decisions, sensitive to the US, such as ordering US diplomatic missions in Russia to reduce their staff to 300 people,” the statement says. Thus, the ministry points out, real parity will be reached regarding the number of employees of diplomatic missions, with the exception of Russia’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.

Lavrov on sovereignty over S.Kuril

Japan should recognize Russia’s sovereignty over the Southern Kuril Islands to allow both countries conclude a peace treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to reporters on November 23.

Russian diplomat issued this comment as a reaction on a statement by Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, which clarifies that the Japanese government would continue negotiations with Russia on a peace treaty proceeding from its baseline position: first to settle the territorial problem and then to conclude a peace treaty.

With all the respect for the Chief Cabinet Secretary, we are nonetheless guided by the agreements that are reached at the highest level between the Russian president and the Japanese prime minister. They have agreed to move forward in discussing the problems that remain, proceeding from the 1956 declaration, which clearly states that first Russia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over all our lands, including those territories, are recognized, thus recognizing the results of World War II, and then everything else will possibly be discussed,” Lavrov underlined.

Lavrov “unpleasant surprise” of Austria spy scandal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said it was an “unpleasant surprise” in absence of any request from Vienna for  explanations over the affair of a retired Austrian army colonel who had allegedly spied for Moscow.

This was an unpleasant surprise to me. It has been a custom from time immemorial for any country that feels some concerns or suspicions over actions by another country to ask for explanations directly in accordance with the rules of international communication. Lately, our Western counterparts have made it a rule not to use traditional methods but rather megaphone diplomacy.They accuse us in public and then demand public explanations over an issue we know nothing about,” Lavrov underlined, according to TASS News Agency.

“It is essential to follow the rules that have been shaped in the process of international communication. We have invited Austria’s ambassador to the Foreign Ministry. We will draw his attention to what methods should be used, if they have any questions for Russia,” Lavrov added.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said at press conference that the 70-year-old army official, now retired, is suspected to have begun working with Russian intelligence in the 1990s and carried on until 2018, for three decades.

The public prosecutor’s office in Salzburg province confirmed the colonel is under investigation for the crime of revealing state secrets.

 

 

 

 

Lavrov: Russia will rethink S-300 installation in Syria

“We will supply the S-300 to Syria?- The president said this. We do not have any moral obligations now” – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said while interviewed by RIA Novosti Agency. “We had moral obligations, we promised not to do this until about 10 years ago, in my opinion, at the request of our well-known partners. And we took into account their argument that this could lead to destabilization of the situation, although the facility is purely defensive, but nevertheless we have heeded the requests – now we have no such moral obligation.”

Skripals: Lavrov points at NATO warfare agent BZ

The substance used on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was an agent called BZ, according to Swiss Spiez lab, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said. The agent has been never produced in Russia, but has been in disposal of the US, UK, and other NATO states.

Skripals were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ, Lavrov said, citing the results of the examination conducted by a Swiss chemical lab, which examined the samples London delivered to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The Swiss center conveyed the results to the OPCW. However, the UN watchdog on chemical weapons limited its report to confirming the formula of the substance  in its final report omitting the other facts indicated in the Swiss document, Lavrov continued. Further the Minister ensured that Moscow would request the OPCW to explain its decision to omit significant information provided by the Swiss report.

Lavrov revealed that the Swiss center that assessed the samples is the Spiez Laboratory. This facility is a Swiss state research center controlled by the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection and, ultimately, by the country’s defense minister. The lab is also an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of the nuclear, biological, and chemical protection and is one of the five centers permanently authorized by the OPCW.

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