Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the Dialogue for the Future meeting, Moscow, December 4, 2018
I am pleased to have you here at our Ministry. We are supportive of the activities of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the Primakov Centre for Foreign Policy Cooperation which work to promote Dialogue for the Future. This format is designed to enable young people from different countries to talk and gain information from different sources about what is happening in foreign policy, so that you can get together, express your opinions, listen to what others have to say, and try to identify things that constitute the main goal of diplomacy which is general understanding and balance of interests. The better and deeper you understand the unfolding events and the more you are aware of the positions of the key participants of international relations, the better off the entire international community will be. Now, more than ever, the world is experiencing a shortage of constructive approaches and stances aimed at forming a common vision of how to move forward, not only with regard to specific conflicts that need to be resolved and settled, but also in a much broader conceptual context – a common vision of where the world is headed and what methods will be used to regulate it.
Problems have taken on a global dimension and they are clearly interconnected. No one can avoid particular risks even if they choose to stay within their national borders. Terrorism, drug trafficking, other types of organised crime, the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, risks to the global trade system, attempts to move away from universal formats which are used to form consensus and to replace them with unilateral actions, such as blackmail, sanctions, extraterritorial enforcement of national laws, are in fact destructive for humanity and lead to confrontation. Perhaps, someone will use these attempts to address their fleeting concerns about raising GDP, creating new jobs, or improving the trade balance, but in the long run all this will have a negative effect. So, it is necessary to understand that actions in the pursuit of short-term, self-serving gains can be ruinous, including in the long term, for those who undertake them.
Today, we will talk about everything that is of interest for you. I am aware that post-Soviet countries and European countries are represented here. I would love to listen to what you have to say, primarily in order to better understand what makes today's youth tick.