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17 January 201810:34

Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s upcoming visit to New York

38-17-01-2018

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will pay a visit to New York on January 18-19.

He will attend two high-level meetings – “WMD Non-Proliferation: Confidence-Building Measures” and “Building Regional Partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia as a Model to Link Security and Development” –  sponsored by the Republic of Kazakhstan, which is presiding over the UN Security Council during the month of January. The former (January 18) will be chaired by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the latter (January 19) by Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov.

We highly appreciate Kazakhstan’s initiative to organise these events that will attract the attention of a wide range of UN member-states. We believe that a detailed discussion on these topics by the UN Security Council reflects this body’s central role in seeking and developing effective solutions to the most urgent problems in the area of maintaining international peace and security.

Disarmament and non-proliferation are particularly pertinent topics not only in the light of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the backbone of the international nuclear non-proliferation system and acute regional situations, but also the mounting threat of WMD being acquired by non-state entities, including terrorist groups, primarily in the Middle East.

As for contemporary risks and threats in the area of nuclear non-proliferation, these should be eliminated on the basis of the NPT and a balanced approach to its three components: non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

We think it useful to enlist the non-proliferation and disarmament potential of international and regional organisations with greater efficiency. A joint search for ways to overcome growing differences is needed. Simultaneously, we should cherish the existing positive experience related to such important matters as the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) designed to solve the Iranian nuclear programme issue.

Kazakhstan’s focus on the Afghan problem is confirmation of Astana’s responsible attitude to the effort to find responses to threats for Central Asia coming from Afghanistan. The emerging perilous situation calls for a comprehensive approach on the part of the regional states as well as the international community as a whole to provide a fitting response to these challenges.

The record of international stabilising efforts in Afghanistan proves the inefficiency of any attempts to solve problems by using force. Serious steps are needed in order to launch a process of national reconciliation based on UN Security Council resolutions. We have initiated the start of a dialogue within the framework of the Moscow Format and reactivated the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group. We are firmly in favour of an early beginning of direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the interests of ending the fratricidal civil war. We are also ready to provide a relevant venue for this purpose.

The situation in Afghanistan is influencing the implementation of safe development plans in the neighbouring regions. We can clearly see that northern Afghanistan is inexorably turning into a support base for ISIS-led terrorism. The staggering surge in Afghan drug production is evidence of the growing financial support for international terrorism and requires that the most resolute and uncompromising measures should be taken to suppress the drug threat.

Russia prioritises the strengthening of allied and strategic partnership relations with the Central Asian countries. These are based on a high degree of mutual trust, concurrence of key geopolitical interests, and the community of approaches to the main regional as well as global problems.

We are making our contribution to Central Asia’s sustainable development and security. The trade and economic ties between our countries are structured in depth. Russian investment in the region amounts to $20 billion, with over 7,500 Russian-owned businesses and joint ventures operating fruitfully there. During the last ten years, the combined amount of Russian aid to certain Central Asian countries has exceeded $6 billion.

A systemic response to modern threats in Afghanistan and Central Asia lies in the creation of a new collectively-based architecture of interstate relations. We are confident that there is a possibility of such a construction based on the principles of inclusive, transparent economic cooperation and equal and indivisible security, as well as on the promotion of network partnership between different multilateral associations.      

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