Saturday, July 13

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s speech and answers to media questions during a joint press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Brazil K. Franca following the results of negotiations in the “2+2” format

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Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Negotiations in the “2+2” format between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Russian Federation and Brazil have been completed. This is the first time that such a format has been used and started working by the decision of Presidents Vladimir Putin and J. Bolsonaro.

We proceed from the fact that our relations with Brazil are self-valuable. In recent years, they have been developing steadily, covering almost all spheres of interstate cooperation and gaining momentum both in trade, economic, investment, and military, military-technical cooperation, humanitarian, cultural, educational exchanges and foreign policy coordination.

Today we exchanged views on all these areas. The meeting is of particular importance because it takes place just a couple of hours before the Kremlin talks between the presidents of Russia and Brazil begin.

We talked about our cooperation in the UN. Brazil is now a non-permanent member of the Security Council. We confirmed that the Russian Federation confirms its support for Brazil’s candidacy for permanent “registration” in the Security Council in the context of the expansion of the membership of this body at the expense of additional seats for developing countries in Asia and Africa.

We closely cooperate in various areas in the UN, which relate to strengthening international security, resolving regional conflicts, ensuring the safety of space activities, preventing the withdrawal of weapons into space. We are also cooperating on strengthening the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons without trying to dilute its key provisions.

Another important topic of our dialogue is the problem of non–proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We agreed to coordinate our approaches in the context of preparations for the Review Conference of the countries participating in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Russia and Brazil are in favor of the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

We also exchanged views on geopolitical trends, including the development of the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, in the Euro-Atlantic and in the east of the Eurasian continent.

We shared in detail with our Brazilian friends the assessments of the United States’ line to replace international law with a certain “rules-based order”. It presupposes and already in practice implements an attempt to split the world into “democratic” and “undemocratic” countries; into those that have a privileged position, and those that need to be restrained. This line (as far as the European region is concerned) manifests itself in the policy of the so-called open doors, which, in violation of all legal norms, all political obligations, results in the reckless expansion of NATO to the east, creating direct threats to the security of the Russian Federation. Today we have informed our interlocutors in detail about the steps we are taking on behalf of President Vladimir Putin in dialogue with the United States and NATO.

We are interested in regular exchange of information and assessments about what is happening in our respective regions: in Latin America and in the Russian environment. This shows the special trusting nature of our relations.

The participants of our meeting from the Ministries of Defense exchanged in detail their assessments of the prospects for the development of military, military-technical cooperation. We agreed to continue consideration of these issues in the framework of the next expert consultations.

Question: What specific proposals from the West received in response to the Russian initiative on key security issues seem acceptable to Moscow?

Sergey Lavrov: I already touched on this topic at a press conference yesterday. This is not so much a proposal from the West, but rather Russia’s proposals, which the West has received and consistently rejected over the past 2-3 years. Now that we have aggravated the security problem in Europe, I had to agree and even presented them as my initiatives. After the United States destroyed the treaty on intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his messages to Western leaders, proposed declaring a bilateral moratorium on the creation and deployment of such ground-based missiles. There was no response. The appeal was simply ignored. Around the same period, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation proposed a number of initiatives for consideration by the North Atlantic Alliance, including measures that would increase the predictability and safety of exercises, reduce security risks during combat aircraft flights and during the campaigns of warships.

We have repeatedly proposed to restore ties between the military of Russia and NATO, which were unilaterally terminated by the North Atlantic Alliance back in 2014, like all other types of interactions. The West outlined all these directions in its responses, which we received, expressing readiness to conduct, as it was said, “a serious dialogue on this issue.” We consider this a positive step. We will be ready for such a dialogue, but not at the expense of clarifying the fundamental issues of our position, which relate to the need to stop NATO’s reckless advance to the east, to look for other methods of ensuring the security of all Euro-Atlantic countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about this in detail at his recent press conferences.

Question: What is your assessment of the ongoing hysteria around Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine? The US State Department names new deadlines. Why did US Secretary of State E. Blinken request a meeting with you the day before? What did he want to talk about if the United States needed some new “evidence” and they did not change their position?

Sergey Lavrov: We have been informed about the contents of yesterday’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State E. Blinken. I won’t add anything.

As for your observation of the ongoing hysteria, I will not say that it amuses us, but it causes deep perplexity. No matter what we do on our territory, the West considers itself entitled to explain to us how we should behave. This is an elementary lack of education.

This is evident in recent calls to “check what Russia is doing there.” Like, we said that the exercises were over, and they “don’t believe”. Allegedly, they will have the opportunity to make sure from satellites and using other information from intelligence services. Constant threats: “just think of invading Ukraine, we will immediately announce such sanctions as the world has not seen.” Yesterday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a conversation with European Commission President U. von der Leyen, following which it was announced that London and the European Union decided to act as a “united front” in order to “punish” Russia when they deem it necessary.

The UK is ready to act in the forefront about and without. A few days ago, amendments to the British law of 2019 were approved, which was adopted to announce sanctions against Russia as a “punishment” for our actions on the Ukrainian problem. This “supplement” has nothing to do with Ukraine. It establishes the right for the British authorities to impose sanctions on any organizations, individuals and legal entities associated with the Russian state, conducting business that is of great economic importance to our authorities, or relate to the activities of individuals and legal entities in industries strategically important to the Russian Government (transport, chemical industry and much more). To make it clearer and more succinct: at the request of the British authorities, any individuals and legal entities can be brought under sanctions only because they belong to Russia, are Russian citizens and structures. History has never known such a thing. If this law (some procedures are being carried out there) finally comes into force, I have no doubt that our parliament will have every reason (it will be necessary) to adopt a similar law against those who are trying to make a career for themselves, gain ratings and gain popularity on the Russophobic path.

We know how much London is used to and likes to play the role of a provocateur in relations between Russia and the West. I hope that other Western countries are more responsible players. They will unravel this attempt to provoke another wave of sanctions wars and will not support it. I emphasize that in any case, the Russian government and parliament will not remain indifferent to what they are trying to do in the West.



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