Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting with the foreign ministers of the African Union troika (South Africa, Egypt and the DRC) held via videoconference, Moscow, July 8, 2020
I am delighted to see all of you today. Our experts continue working on the connection with Cairo. It was working very well when they checked it yesterday, but we are having problems today, which shows once again the importance of personal contacts. I am sure that we will resume them very soon when the coronavirus pandemic, which all of us are fighting, ends. We will talk about this subject today as well. Of course, videoconferences are a useful thing, but I would like to repeat that they cannot replace personal contacts.
It appears that the spread of the coronavirus infection across the world has cast a bright light on the shortcomings of the current system of global governance. Regrettably, at a time when we should have joined forces against a common threat, some of our colleagues on the international stage attempted to make use of the situation to promote their own mercenary interests to the detriment of other countries; in particular, they continued the policy of replacing undesirable governments and otherwise interfered in the affairs of sovereign states. In general, we have taken notice of the attempts to undermine the foundations of the universal system of international law based on the principles of the UN Charter, as well as the attempts to replace international law with a “rules-based order.”
We are convinced that these efforts to promote unilateral interests are harmful and are doing serious damage to the common interests of the international community, which call for consolidation and solidarity. It is this approach that our African friends and Russia demonstrated during the first Russia-Africa Summit held in Sochi in October 2019, where we called for strengthening international law in the interests of global stability, and where our presidents and prime ministers reaffirmed the intention to continue to cooperate closely in order to further develop our partnership in all spheres and to prevent conflicts in Africa on the basis of the principle that stipulates African solutions for African problems.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the further deepening of our partnership in all spheres in keeping with the Sochi Declaration will continue to play a vital stabilising role in global and regional affairs.