First of all, Russia is a responsible member of NPT regime. This became once again apparent at the 2015 NPT Review Conference as participating States were very close to adopting the Final Document – to a great extent due to Russian efforts and proposals. Our constructive approach was acknowledged by many participants. So, we take it very seriously when it comes to any aspect of the NPT, including carefully calibrating the corresponding rhetoric.
It is no secret that Russia is in the middle of modernization cycle of its nuclear arsenal which has to do mostly with a need to replace retiring systems. These efforts are in strict adherence to our bilateral Treaty with the US (the New START), and this obvious fact is not contested by the American side. That’s why it appears rather strange to us to see emotional reaction from NATO officials with regard to statistical data on this modernization process, including those recently presented by the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
23 June 2015
We have held a new round of the Normandy format talks between the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine. We discussed the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Also, the Russian President had a telephone conversation with the French President and the German Chancellor yesterday, during which they talked about the key aspects of our work at this point. As you probably know, meetings of the majority of Trilateral Contact Group’s working subgroups were held in Minsk today.
The most important thing we noted was that the Package of Measures approved in Minsk on February 12 remains valid as a package, and that we need to implement all of its provisions, though not necessarily based onthe implementation of each other, but working towards progress on each of the provisions of the Package of Measures.
Second and very important as well, we spent a long time discussing an issue on which our leaders also focus, specifically, the development of direct dialogue between Kiev, Lugansk and Donetsk on the implementation of all the provisions of the Minsk Agreements without exception. This concerns the military-political sphere, security, the economy and humanitarian issues, and, last but not the least, political reforms.
19 June 2015
Question: Moscow’s reaction to the seizure of Russian property abroad in connection with the Yukos case is expected to be very tough. How will Russia respond to this?
Sergey Lavrov: The response will be reciprocal. This is inevitable. It is the only way of acting in the international arena. Reciprocity may be positive or negative, as in this case. Now we are working to reverse the seizure of the accounts of our diplomatic agencies in the first place. In France they also started by seizing accounts of the Embassy, our UNESCO office and the trade mission, but then backtracked and retained control only of the accounts of our companies with state participation. Belgium took the same inappropriate actions, announcing their decision to close the accounts of our diplomatic agencies—the Embassy, and the offices at the EU and NATO. This completely contradicts the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that provides for the immunity of all diplomatic property – real estate and everything linked with it. Representatives of the Belgian Foreign Ministry are sending us signals that they were not in the know and that they have an independent judiciary. These explanations are unacceptable because in accordance with international law the immunity of diplomatic property is guaranteed by the state, which in this case is acting through its Foreign Ministry in relations with foreign partners.
18 June 2015
On June 5, the US Department of State published its 2015 Report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments. Apart from the information on the United States’ adherence to its obligations, the report provides assessments of adherence to international agreements by other countries. This includes a number of complaints about the Russian Federation over the alleged violations of its obligations under several international agreements.
We note that the United States continues to act as the supreme certifier who has assumed the right to give other countries marks for their compliance with their commitments under arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament agreements.
It is obvious that such documents are primarily designed to service Washington’s political interests and are therefore openly subjective, prejudiced and biased. These documents are noted for numerous speculations, exaggerations, forced arguments, false messages and distortions. Considering this, the 2015 report, just as all the previous reports, can hardly be described as a serious document that reflects the real state of affairs in the sphere of non-proliferation and arms control.
15 June 2015
US media have reported plans, citing high-ranking sources at the White House and the Pentagon, to position arms warehouses in NATO’s eastern European member countries for the purpose of rotational training.
Possible destinations for the deployment of up to 1,200 vehicles, including 250 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and armoured howitzers, include Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Estonia and possibly Hungary. These “prepositioned” weapons would be enough to equip a brigade of 3,000 to 5,000 military personnel. These plans are expected to be coordinated in time for approval at the upcoming NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels in late June.
These reports show that the United States is obviously negotiating with its allies to erode the fundamental provision of the Russia-NATO Founding Act of 1997, under which the alliance pledged to avoid “additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces” in the above countries. The prepositioning of weapons is equivalent to permanent stationing, and the rotation of military personnel is but a detail.
Permanent Representative
Alexander V. GRUSHKO
Contacts
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