Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's answers to media questions, Sochi, May 15, 2019
Question: Does Russia expect the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to discuss Russia’s failure to comply with its financial obligations?
Sergey Lavrov: Nothing of the kind will be discussed. Yesterday experts did their work. There is a draft decision to be adopted, you can find out about it there. We are ready to discuss everything because the Statute of the Council of Europe says that everyone must have equal rights and equal duties. If a nation is stripped of rights, it naturally has its own idea regarding its further actions. I hope that justice will be restored.
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Question: It appears that the Americans are not making the release of the Ukrainian sailors a precondition for a bilateral meeting, as was the case earlier?
Sergey Lavrov: We said everything yesterday. It was confirmed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, his aide Yury Ushakov, and I also made comments: we heard that President Trump publicly stated his interest in using the G20 Summit in Osaka for a bilateral meeting with President Putin. If we get an official concrete proposal, we will certainly support it.
Question: Seems like yesterday’s atmosphere was friendly and constructive. But is anyone ready to make concessions?
Sergey Lavrov: These are different concepts. One must always be polite. We are polite people. We speak on any topic, as we believe that it is necessary to communicate, to listen to each other. However, the fact that we speak politely does not mean we would make any concessions that run contrary to the core national interests of the Russian Federation.