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Speech by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his answer to the question from the mass media during the press conference summarizing the results of the meeting of the Russian, Indian and Chinese foreign ministers, New Delhi, 10 November 2013


2239-11-11-2013

The RIC format – Russia, India and China – has established itself as an arena for coordination of consolidated decisions on the most topical issues on the international and regional agenda.

Today we reviewed a range of important problems in a spirit of partnership and confidence. We discussed the prospects of formation of the architecture of interstate relations corresponding to modern reality in the APR, when threats become common for everybody, nobody can hide behind their own borders, security becomes undivided and it is important to avoid any attempts to build one’s own security at the expense of others.

Russia together with China and Brunei proposed the development of cooperation principles in the area of regional security within the framework of the EAS mechanism. This initiative was approved at the summit in Brunei on the 10 October. We are grateful to our Indian friends for their firm support of this idea. In the near future, the first round of a dialogue between EAS member states devoted to the issues of discussing regional architecture in the area of security will be held in Bandar Seri Begawan.

We share a high opinion of our interaction in the resolution of the tasks of security building in all its dimensions in various international arenas – the UN, the EAS, and the ASEAN Regional Forum for security. The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), whose ministerial session opens tomorrow in New Delhi, is also viewed as a prospective arena.

As to specific regional situations, we devoted special attention to several of them, primarily to Afghanistan. We share a common assessment of the development of events in this country that additional measures are required from the world community and, primarily, the neighbours of Afghanistan to prevent the build-up of threats related to the spread of terrorism, drug trafficking and other forms of organised crime. Russia, India and China will use all their efforts to contribute to the establishment of Afghanistan as a peaceful, independent, stable and flourishing state. We agreed to activate this work within the framework of the UN and the SCO.

We stick to shared assessments of the situation in Syria. Our Indian and Chinese friends actively support the efforts for peaceful settlement of the crisis without the use of force on the basis of international law. We all speak in favour of a speedier convention of Geneva-2. We also have common approaches towards the organisation of this international conference – it must be representative to the maximum of the different segments of the Syrian community. Of course, we are all interested in contributing to the work of the international experts in the implementation of the chemical disarmament programme in Syria as much as possible.

We share the opinions about the task of overcoming difficulties on the way to settle Iran’s Nuclear Programme and return the situation in the Korean Peninsula to the negotiation table to ensure its full denuclearisation, as was agreed before. As my Indian colleague has said, our assessments are laid down in the Joint Communique, which will be distributed for your knowledge.

We also discussed issues of the internal organisation of our “troika” to concentrate on those aspects, where our three countries have comparative benefits as a negotiation arena, and to coordinate our efforts with other structures, including the BRICS, the SCO, in the direction of sectorial cooperation, which is on the agenda of all these structures.

To end, I would like to thank our Indian friends, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Salman Khurshid personally and to emphasize our interest in further reinforcing the role of India in international affairs and international organisations.

Question: Sergey Viktorovich, you have just returned from Geneva, where a meeting of the P5+1 with Iran was held. How was this meeting, in your opinion? Have you informed your colleagues about its results? Is there any common position of the RIC on the results and further development of the situation around Iran and its nuclear programme?

Sergey Lavrov: The meeting you are talking about was held in Geneva over the last two days. With the participation of the foreign ministers of the EU3+3 and Iran, the situation on the negotiations was discussed, primarily, practical ways of implementing those decisions, which were adopted by the IAEA Board of Governors and the UNSC regarding ways of settling Iran’s Nuclear Programme.

This meeting confirmed that in the last year starting from January-February, polemics and the exchange of initial positions without any attempt to make them closer have gone to the side-lines in the talk on Iran’s Nuclear Programme, but the need to deal with essential issues, which raise concerns in the IAEA and the world community and should be closed, have moved to the fore. The new Iranian government – and we welcome this – showed its resolution to move in this direction. The talk at the EU3+3 meeting with Iranian representatives was extremely specific and was related to practical aspects of Iran’s Nuclear Programme, which raise the concerns which I have mentioned.

It is of principled importance for us, because Russia like all other participants of the EU3+3, and the world community in general, have a vital interest in removing any existing risks for the regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Of course, it is possible only through negotiations. Therefore, we are glad that the line consistently drawn by Russia for many years is now perceived by all participants of the EU3+3. We drew this line together with our Chinese friends, who are also members of the P5+1. This line consists of the need to step away from threats and a constant level of sanctions bypassing the UNSC, and to come to a business-like consideration of the nature of this problem. That is just the way it is.

I wish to note again the very important role of the US delegation headed by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, which was very active in the search for agreements, which allow us to find common approaches between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran.