Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions on the sidelines of the joint meeting of the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers, CSTO Council of Defence Ministers and CSTO Committee of Security Council Secretaries, Astana, November 8, 2018
Question: Can you say for certain that President of Russia Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will meet in Argentina?
Sergey Lavrov: There is an agreement to this effect. I have no other information at the moment. Moscow and Washington have publicly confirmed this.
Question: Can there be any surprises, as it sometimes happens?
Sergey Lavrov: I can only tell you what I know now. Moscow and Washington have publicly confirmed this. There is an agreement on this score. Members of the Russian President’s Executive Office have said everything there is to say about this meeting.
Question: Which of the long list of issues will be given priority at the Putin-Trump meeting?
Sergey Lavrov: This is a contrived question, because there are many issues on the meeting agenda. The presidents will discuss whatever they think necessary.
Question: Has the candidate for the post of the CSTO Secretary General been chosen, or are the discussions ongoing?
Sergey Lavrov: The presidents are discussing all issues.
Question: Did you discuss the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with your colleagues?
Sergey Lavrov: Yes, we held in-depth discussions on this issue at a meeting of the foreign ministers yesterday. We have a common position, according to which the INF Treaty is a vital tool for maintaining international security and stability and, hence, that it should be preserved. By the way, we adopted a statement to this effect at the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Almaty back last summer. Today we will submit to the heads of state a draft declaration that covers all aspects of the CSTO competence. It includes a provision on the importance of preserving the INF Treaty.