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23 March 201612:09

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Moscow, March 23, 2016

535-23-03-2016

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Mr Minister, Frank-Walter, colleagues:

We welcome you to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are happy to have this opportunity to continue our intensive dialogue, all the more so since our  contacts have become  more  intensified recently, not only between our foreign ministries but also between the parliaments and our regions as well as between other ministries and agencies. Today we have an opportunity to discuss our plans and to exchange views on international affairs, which continue to grow increasingly complicated.

We are working with Germany on the settlement of the Ukraine crisis and on a Syrian settlement within international formats. We are also discussing today’s other current issues in Europe and other regions. All of this is on the agenda of our meeting today, and I look forward to a productive discourse.

European cooperation problems are of particular importance this year, given that Germany is the current OSCE Chair and faces quite a few challenges, which don’t seem to be decreasing in number. I hope very much that the Europeans  will set aside ideological and geopolitical considerations in the face of the terrible terrorist threat that reemerged in Belgium yesterday and will unite in order not to let terrorists do as they please on our common continent. We believe that the OSCE can play a very important role in this regard, especially since the previously available antiterrorist cooperation channels between Russia and the EU and between Russia and NATO have been frozen, at the initiative of our Western friends.

We will be open to a discussion of all these things and any other issues of mutual interest.

Welcome!   

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