Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during a videoconference of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China, Moscow, June 23, 2020
Good afternoon once again. First of all, I would like to welcome you and thank you for taking part in today’s meeting. We are holding it as a videoconference. I am glad to see everyone in good health and mood. This is always important.
We are holding these talks on the eve of the Victory Parade in Moscow, which will take place on June 24 this year. On this day 75 years ago, the Victory Parade was held after the triumph in World War II and the Great Patriotic War. Back then, those who delivered a deadly blow to Hitler’s war machine marched on Red Square. I would like to use this opportunity to sincerely thank our friends from India and China for sending their military units to take part in the parade. This shows the common history our nations share.
Today we are facing other threats, above all COVID-19. The pandemic continues to take people’s lives and seriously impact global politics and economy. We can see this clearly. The pandemic has demonstrated that the entire international community is interconnected to an unprecedented degree, regardless of geographic situation and the level of prosperity. It has reaffirmed that in today’s world it is impossible to stay on the sidelines, away from cross-border problems.
Of course, at the same time, many other dangerous challenges and threats the entire humankind has to face remain unsolved. One such threat is international terrorism. Efforts to combat it continue with a degree of success, but it is clear that this threat is far from being eliminated. I would like to use this opportunity to reaffirm our support to the Indian initiative on adopting a comprehensive convention on combatting terrorism. Other cross-border threats that make terrorism stronger, such as drug trafficking and other forms of cross-border crime, also remain unresolved. And, of course, everyone understands that it is necessary to stop the degradation of the environment and address the problem of climate change.
In these conditions, the global community must unite, but, unfortunately, despite all the objective factors, attempts continue to promote selfish interests, settle the score with geopolitical rivals and topple undesirable regimes, including by using illegitimate unilateral coercive measures. The striving of several Western states to move away from a system that is based on the universal acceptance of international law and attempts to replace international law with some “rule-based order”, where these rules are defined by the immediate situation, raise serious concerns. This line makes the global stage more unpredictable and increases mistrust. We cannot but feel concerned about it.
Russia, India and China consistently speak in favour of interstate relations based on a firm and, let me stress this, generally recognised international legal basis in order to ensure global stability and general prosperity. Our leaders reaffirmed this stance at the RIC summits in Buenos Aires in November 2018 and Osaka in June 2019. We are united by our rejection of unilateral methods in international relations, especially when these methods are applied by force.
I am confident that the use of our three countries’ potential will play an important stabilising role in global affairs, support the entire global community in effectively resolving many topical problems of today and establish the principles of true multilateralism.
Thank you for your attention. I would like to give the floor to my colleague from India.