Excerpt from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Kazakhstan’s Khabar news agency, Moscow, May 6, 2021
Question: I think you will agree that Kazakhstan is today one of Russia’s most friendly and strategic partners. Still, Russian politicians make provocative statements at times. What is the purpose of this? Can you comment on it?
Sergey Lavrov: Politicians choose different ways to advance their careers. Some go for the sensational, others believe that asking hard, even controversial questions will draw attention to them and keep them in the public eye. It is, as we say in Russia, important for them to make the headlines, whether good or bad. Maybe the politicians you mentioned are of this ilk. But no policy maker with a bearing on Russia’s relations with Kazakhstan has ever made or will ever make statements that cast into doubt any of our agreements that promote friendly bilateral relations. These agreements are rooted in our unconditional respect for each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. We are developing our friendly relationship based on the agreements that have been reached, signed by heads of state, approved by parliaments, and passed into law to become part of international law. I believe that controversial and provocative statements by certain politicians and lawmakers are an inevitable part of life in a democracy. It is imperative however that such statements that do nothing to strengthen healthy bilateral relations remain within the confines of debating clubs. I can assure you that statements that undermine the existing international legal framework of our bilateral relations will never be steeped in real policy.