17 | 09 | 2019

We view the agreed reciprocal release of persons held in custody on the territories of Russia and Ukraine as a positive signal to be followed by other important steps to overcome the current deadlock in Russia-Ukraine relations and in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

It was made possible by fulfilling the agreements reached personally by the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Unlike its predecessors, Vladimir Zelensky’s administration showed a reasonable approach and readiness to compromise.

On September 3, Russia marks the Day of Solidarity in the Fight Against Terrorism. People around the country commemorate the victims of terrorist attacks, including law enforcement officers who died during counterterrorist operations and on duty.

This commemorative date was established following the tragic events that occurred in September 2004, when 334 people, mostly children, died in a terrorist attack on a school in Beslan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Abkhazian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company for a documentary about former President Sergey Bagapsh of the Republic of Abkhazia, Moscow, August 26, 2019

Sergey Bagapsh and I were acquainted quite closely. We met and became friends even before 2008, in 2005, when Mr Bagapsh was elected Abkhazia’s second president and engaged, among other things, in issues related to the political settlement process as part of the talks, at which Abkhazia sought to secure the language, socioeconomic and other rights of its citizens. As is clear, this process was launched in the wake of the war that had been fought in the early 1990s. It was proceeding with difficulty because the Georgian leaders were putting forward ultimatum-like demands and at some stage departed from the idea of forming a confederation, which could have proved a success. But in any case, Mr Bagapsh was involved in contacts aimed at finding a generally acceptable settlement. These efforts were dashed in 2008, when Mikheil Saakashvili ordered that aggressive action be taken against his own citizens and, in fact, demonstrated his intention to bend the Abkhazians and South Ossetians to his will within the framework of what was actually a unitary state, rather than to come to terms with them on some forms of cohabitation. During those troublesome days in August 2008, Mr Bagapsh showed himself a real statesman and a politician fully conscious of his responsibility before his people and his country and capable of standing by his word. These are very important qualities that were generally inherent in this wonderful man.

Question: Could you comment on the US cruise missile test?

Sergey Lavrov: We have made a comment already. We said that this was being prepared for a long time, long before August 2, when the legal obligations of the parties to the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) formally expired.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the opening of the historical and documentary exhibition, “Year 1939: The Outbreak of World War II”, Moscow, August 20, 2019

Colleagues,

Today, we are opening an important historical and documentary exhibition dedicated to the outbreak of World War II. Unique archival documents are presented here, many of which come from the Foreign Ministry’s funds. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Federal Archival Agency, the Russian State Military Archives and the Russian Historical Society, all of which made this exhibition possible.

Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks with Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas

On August 21, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas who is on a working visit to Russia.

This year, Sergey Lavrov and Heiko Maas have met four times – on January 18 when the German minister visited Moscow, on February 15 in Munich at the 55th Munich Security Conference, on May 16 in Helsinki on the sidelines of the Committee of Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe meeting, and on July 18 in Bonn on the sidelines of the 18th meeting of the St Petersburg Dialogue Russian-German Public Forum.

On August 9, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of the United States in Moscow, Tim Richardson, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, where he was presented with an official protest in connection with publications on the official Twitter account of the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and on the diplomatic mission’s website concerning the August 3 street protests in Moscow that were not sanctioned by authorities.

Comment by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department

On August 8, during a meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry with Ms Beate Grzeski, Plenipotentiary Minister and chargé d’affaires ad interim of the German Embassy, the Russian side pointed out the unacceptability of direct appeals to Moscow residents to participate in unauthorised rallies posted on social media by the German television and radio company Deutsche Welle.

On August 2, six months after Washington initiated the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the USSR and the US in 1987, the treaty has been terminated for all parties: the US, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

This means that a key treaty for establishing the regional and global security architecture no longer exists. Under the INF Treaty, the parties eliminated two classes of nuclear armaments: land-based intermediate-range and shorter range missiles. The missile launchers and all the associated support facilities and equipment were also destroyed.

The United States continues to use last year's staged poisoning of the former British agent and his daughter in the UK to aggravate relations with Russia. This blatant provocation, whose participants have been protected from exposure, again serves as the pretext to impose sanctions on Russia under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 and a special executive order recently signed by the White House.

On August 2, the United States completed the withdrawal from the INF Treaty. Accordingly, this instrument ceased to have effect.

Washington has committed a grave mistake. By launching a propaganda campaign based on deliberately misleading information on what was presented as violations of the INF Treaty by Russia, the United States intentionally plunged the Treaty into a crisis that was almost impossible to overcome. The cause is however clear: the United States wanted to free itself from the existing restrictions.

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