Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at talks with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejcinovic Buric Moscow, October 19, 2020
Madam Secretary General,
We are delighted to be able to hold these full-scale in-person talks in this traditional format with you despite the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Russia is the largest European country and an active member of the Council of Europe. We have joined 67 rules and regulations of this pan-European organisation and have incorporated their norms in a great number of national laws.
We really hope, and we have pointed this out in our contacts with our European colleagues, that all the Council of Europe mechanisms and institutions will apply its conventions honestly and without attempting to provide any lop-sided interpretations.
Of course, we do indeed hope that the crisis in the Council of Europe, which was settled last year, will serve as a lesson to those who attempted to undermine the purpose of the Council of Europe sealed in its Statute. I am referring to ensuring a common legal and humanitarian space on the continent, without any dividing lines and based on respect for the sovereign equality of states.
It is encouraging that today we have an opportunity to discuss the entire range of objectives the Council of Europe has set itself at the current stage and to review our collaboration with it in the most diverse spheres.
I am aware of your plans to meet with High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia Tatyana Moskalkova and Minister of Justice Konstantin Chuychenko. I am quite sure that the packed agenda of your visit will help advance our relations to a new level.
Once again, welcome.