Excerpts from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's interview to Sergey Brilyov, anchor of the Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday) programme on Rossiya 1 television channel, Moscow, November 30, 2019
Sergey Lavrov: Indeed, a number of countries – Great Britain, Norway, Chile, Australia and New Zealand – made claims for a part of the continent and adjacent waters of the Southern Ocean last century, which are called 'sectors.'
Sergey Brilyov: They marked triangles on the map.
Sergey Lavrov: That’s right, triangles. Back then, the Soviet Union and the United States made a joint statement on peremptory non-recognition of any claims and refusal to divide Antarctica into sectors, in order to preserve the continent as the common heritage of the humankind.
Sergey Brilyov: It appears that Russia’s and the United States’ stance on Antarctica is one of the issues that they have complete unanimity on.
Sergey Lavrov: That is true – and this is not the only issue. Since its discovery, Antarctica has been a sort of honeypot, a continent that everyone sought to claim a part of. It even came to serious interstate disputes.
Sergey Brilyov: There was even shooting.
Sergey Lavrov: There was. But ultimately everything was settled by peaceful means, and I think this experience should be used to settle today's conflicts.
Sergey Brilyov: How sure can we be that the Antarctic Treaty will remain in effect and the world will not descend into another armed conflict?
Sergey Lavrov: I believe no one wants to undermine the Treaty. There are no signs of putting the Treaty at risk.
The full interview will be posted soon.