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I’m happy to be at this annual Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (Russian abbreviation SVOP). It is always a great pleasure for me to meet people and feel the intellectual potential, which enables the Council, its leaders and representatives to respond to global developments and analyse them. Their analysis is always free from any hysteria, and its members offer well-grounded and solid arguments, taking a step back, since those caught in the midst of events can hardly adopt an unbiased perspective. We are inevitably influenced by the developments, which makes your observations, analysis, discourse and suggestions even more valuable to us.
As far as I know, this year’s Assembly will focus on prospects for accelerating domestic growth in Russia. There is no doubt that concerted efforts by our society as a whole to bring about comprehensive economic, social and spiritual development are a prerequisite for making Russia’s future sustainable. That said, by virtue of my professional duties, I have to focus on foreign policy issues, which are still relevant for the Assembly’s agenda, since in this interconnected, globalised world, isolating internal development from the outside world is impossible.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin provided a detailed analysis of the international developments at the Valdai Club meeting in Sochi, as well as in his interviews during his trip to Asia. For this reason, I won’t offer any conceptual observations, as everything has already been said. Nevertheless, I would like to share with you some considerations based on our day-to-day foreign policy efforts. It is not my intention to deliver a comprehensive or clear outlook, since at this stage all forecasts are provisional, no matter who makes them. Moreover, diplomats seek to influence developments as they unfold, not contemplate them. Full story
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Esteemed deputies of the State Duma,
I’m pleased to have this opportunity to speak to you again as part of the Government Hour. The Foreign Ministry appreciates the deputies’ focus on cooperation between our ministry and the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the corresponding committees of the State Duma and the Federation Council. Teamwork is important for the effective implementation of Russia’s foreign policy. Sincerely, without any flattery, we appreciate the active and constructive contribution that the State Duma makes in promoting Russia’s interests in the international arena as it makes use of parliamentary diplomacy and the full range of tools available to members of parliaments across the world.
President Putin has made extensive remarks about how he views the current international situation, including at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club and in an interview during his recent Asian tour. The President has been candid in his offers to work with our partners to make a clear and honest appraisal of what’s really going on in the world, why it is becoming less safe and predictable, and why risks are multiplying. Full story
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Ladies and gentlemen,
We have had constructive talks with the Foreign Minister of Germany and will continue them during a business lunch. I am happy to welcome Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Moscow.
Russian-German relations have been a vital factor of European politics for decades. Although we have diverging views on the situation in Ukraine, our dialogue has never stopped. In my view, this is an important and notable fact. The other day, President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G20 summit in Brisbane.
Today our talks focused on Ukraine. We agree that it is our common goal to stabilise Ukraine as soon as possible, to ensure a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weaponry in keeping with the Minsk Protocol, as well as to take other actions stipulated in that document. Russia has called for the unconditional continuation of the Minsk process. It is a unique format in that all conflicting sides are represented in this process mediated by Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
We pointed out that the mechanisms used to address various aspects of the military situation in southeastern Ukraine include the implementation of the “clearing house” initiative proposed by the German Foreign Minister, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier. It provides for the exchange of information about incidents by the sides’ military representatives. Full story