Esteemed deputies of the State Duma,
I’m pleased to have this opportunity to speak to you again as part of the Government Hour. The Foreign Ministry appreciates the deputies’ focus on cooperation between our ministry and the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the corresponding committees of the State Duma and the Federation Council. Teamwork is important for the effective implementation of Russia’s foreign policy. Sincerely, without any flattery, we appreciate the active and constructive contribution that the State Duma makes in promoting Russia’s interests in the international arena as it makes use of parliamentary diplomacy and the full range of tools available to members of parliaments across the world.
President Putin has made extensive remarks about how he views the current international situation, including at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club and in an interview during his recent Asian tour. The President has been candid in his offers to work with our partners to make a clear and honest appraisal of what’s really going on in the world, why it is becoming less safe and predictable, and why risks are multiplying.
18 November 2014
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) international non-governmental organisation has published a report entitled “Incendiary Weapons: Recent Use and Growing Opposition”, which was prepared in cooperation with the Harvard Law School.
The report cites evidence collected and documented by HRW experts, confirming the use of the Grad incendiary rocket systems in the town of Ilovaysk and the village of Luganskoye of the Lugansk Region in August-October 2014. Several unexploded shells with incendiary warheads were found near Ilovaysk.
The above evidence, coupled with the proof released earlier of cluster shells used against residents of Ukraine’s southeast, attests to repeated violations of international humanitarian law and one of the most fundamental human rights, the right to life.
18 November 2014
Ladies and gentlemen,
We have had constructive talks with the Foreign Minister of Germany and will continue them during a business lunch. I am happy to welcome Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Moscow.
Russian-German relations have been a vital factor of European politics for decades. Although we have diverging views on the situation in Ukraine, our dialogue has never stopped. In my view, this is an important and notable fact. The other day, President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G20 summit in Brisbane.
Today our talks focused on Ukraine. We agree that it is our common goal to stabilise Ukraine as soon as possible, to ensure a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weaponry in keeping with the Minsk Protocol, as well as to take other actions stipulated in that document. Russia has called for the unconditional continuation of the Minsk process. It is a unique format in that all conflicting sides are represented in this process mediated by Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
17 November 2014
Question: Could you comment on NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent statement on Russia?
Answer: In his public statements Mr Stoltenberg is primarily guided by the decisions and directives reflecting the consolidated position of all 28 NATO member-states. The Alliance’s current approaches on a wide range of world and regional policy issues, including NATO’s policy toward Russia, were formulated at the NATO summit in Wales on 4-5 September this year.
The new Secretary General’s statements fall short of Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s aggressive Russophobia, and Mr Stoltenberg clearly lives in his predecessor’s shadow.
Unfortunately, we see that the Alliance is not interested in a constructive discussion of mounting problems, and prefers to fan anti-Russian sentiment to justify plans to strengthen NATO’s defence capability and increase its military presence at Russia’s borders, creating serious security risks in the Euro-Atlantic region.
8 November 2014
A meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry lasted an hour and a half. We discussed progress at the talks on Iran’s nuclear programme. This is the key priority considering the time factor and the agreement to reach a final compromise before 24 November this year. Our deputies are working in the region, in Muscat, together with an Iranian representative. They are discussing concrete issues that need to be settled to formulate a final agreement. Russia and the United States are resolved to do our best to achieve this target by the agreed date. We will attempt to find solutions to the remaining two or three issues.
We also discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa with a focus on the main threat –the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist and extremist organisations.
We confirmed Russia’s stance on fighting terrorism based on international law and said that we saw no legal or even practical reasons that would prevent cooperation on this issue with the Syrian government.
The United States has a different approach. It believes that the coalition should work independently, without consulting the UN Security Council or seeking the approval of the Syrian government. We do not share this view. However, no one argues that terrorism is the main threat in the region. We will try to conciliate our positions on methods of fighting this threat.
Permanent Representative
Alexander V. GRUSHKO
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