Question: What can Russia do to settle the Ukrainian crisis?
Sergey Lavrov: Our position is absolutely clear: we want peace in Ukraine, which can only be attained through a wide-ranging national dialogue involving all of the country’s regions and political forces. It was this that Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine agreed to in Geneva on 17 April.
Russia has been actively assisting the emergence of favourable conditions for a peaceful solution to the serious problems confronting Ukraine. During their meeting in Minsk on 26 August, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko stressed the need for an early end to the bloodshed and a transition to the political settlement of the entire set of problems in the country’s southeast.
On 3 September, Vladimir Putin proposed a seven-point action plan for stabilising the Ukrainian crisis. Based on the results of the Trilateral Contact Group’s meeting in Minsk on 5 September, President Poroshenko’s representatives and the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) signed a Protocol with regard to further joint steps aimed at, among other things, implementing the Russian President’s initiative.
13 September 2014
Question: Good afternoon, Mr Lavrov. The main issue today is Ukraine. Is the war over or is it a temporary respite?
Sergey Lavrov: It is a ceasefire. It is based on a document that was signed after Russian President Vladimir Putin advanced a seven-point initiative. We also expressed our readiness to work further on that document with the involvement of all sides in the conflict: the Kiev authorities and those who support them, and the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics.
It was thanks to this initiative that a meeting was held in Minsk where the document was coordinated. It has more than seven points, because it must reflect the stands of those who are directly involved in the agreement. According to our assessment and the opinion of OSCE observers, the ceasefire has so far been effective, though not without some disruptions that have so far been insignificant, thank God. There has been some shooting, but so far the progress towards a lasting truce has not been disrupted. I don’t want to be over-optimistic, because there are people who would like to derail this process and to revive the military scenario.
4 September 2014
Euronews: “Mr Grushko, let’s talk about the NATO summit in Wales which will be discussing Russia. What do you think about the fact Russia itself was not invited?”

Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Gruschko: “There was not really a question of organising a joint summit. But after the NATO countries unilaterally withdrew in April from the cooperation projects with Russia, this question lost its relevance completely. Let them discuss their problems between themselves.”

Euronews: “How will Russia take NATO’s plans to increase its presence in Eastern Europe which will probably be announced in Wales?”

Gruschko: “Absolutely negatively. We don’t hide our attitude. We have already expressed many times our concern about recent increased activity along the Russian borders, on the ground, in the air and in the sea. This worries us for many reasons. First of all, there is no ground for increased NATO activities.”
3 September 2014
In order to stop the bloodshed and stabilise the situation in southeast Ukraine, I believe that the parties to the conflict should immediately agree on and coordinate the following steps:

1. End active offensive operations by armed forces, armed units and militia groups in southeast Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas.

2. Withdraw Ukrainian armed forces units to a distance that would make it impossible to fire on populated areas using artillery and all types of multiple launch rocket systems.
1 September 2014
Mr Torkunov,
Mr Bazhanov,
Happy Knowledge Day! I’d like to congratulate the new students in attendance on getting accepted to one of the world's best universities – and I stand by these words.
This is a special year in the history of MGIMO. This October, we will celebrate its 70th anniversary. The Second International Forum of MGIMO Alumni will also take place in October. MGIMO approaches its anniversary at the height of its success and in great shape thanks to the creative approach of the university administration, faculty and professors, and the inquisitive and hungry minds of the students.
The university has established itself as a leader in training high-calibre specialists in international affairs and as a leading think tank providing wide-ranging analysis. In conjunction with the Diplomatic Academy, MGIMO provides a valuable product that aids the work of the Foreign Ministry.
I believe that this class of first-year students has every reason to be proud of becoming members of this family – the MGIMO fraternity – and to start preparing themselves for an eventful and exciting career in government service, journalism, business and, of course, diplomacy, because MGIMO remains the main source of employees for the Foreign Ministry. We are interested in hiring talented young people.
I hope that the Young Diplomats Council will assist us in arranging regular meetings so that you can learn first-hand about their work and life, and how they enjoy working at the Foreign Ministry. I’ll just answer for them now – they love it. If you hear anything different, don’t believe it.
Permanent Representative
Alexander V. GRUSHKO
Belgium, Brussels, 1180-Uccle,
Avenue de Fre, 66

32(0)2 372-0359

32(0)2 375-8547


In Focus