Speech of and answers to questions by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during joint press conference summarizing the results of negotiations with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Moscow, 7 May 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we have had an intensive negotiation day related to the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to the Russian Federation. We had a long, rather specific and productive meeting with the President of the Russian Federation in Kremlin. Vladimir Putin has confirmed that he attentively studied the recent message of the US President Barack Obama and a reply is being prepared to it, which will soon be transferred to Washington. The President has emphasized that he is waiting for the meeting with Barack Obama within the framework of the summit of the Group of Eight, which will be held in the Northern Ireland, then we are waiting for the visit of the US President to the Russian Federation.
Based on the agreements that were reached at the summit level and during our past meetings with John Kerry this year, we have reviewed in detail all the issues of our bilateral agenda, regional and international problems with an eye to the preparation of the forthcoming meeting between the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the US President Barack Obama this June.
We agree that Russia and the USA should build up their relations based on the role they are playing in international affairs, should act based on principles of equality, mutual respect of each other's interests, consideration of concerns of both sides. Such concerns keep existing – it is natural. We are talking specifically about them and value the interest and readiness of our American partners to "remove" these concerns from the agenda of the dialog between Russia and the USA.
We have paid particular attention to the need to advance in the implementation of the agreements between the two presidents regarding build-up of trade, economic and investment cooperation, discussed specific measures that may be adopted to that end, including using mechanisms of the Presidential Commission headed by John Kerry and me as coordinators, where we report directly to heads of our states.
The topic of strategic stability was certainly also touched upon. The general understanding of the need to consider this issues, taking into account all the aspects affecting it, is strengthening.
As to international and regional problems, we have many tasks related to the non-admission of proliferation of terrorist threats, drug trafficking, drug industry, organized crime, suppression of threats to the regime of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We considered the situation around the nuclear program of Iran, on the Korean Peninsula, in Afghanistan and around it.
We paid particular attention to the situation in Syria. We agreed as follows. Russia and the USA will stimulate both the Syrian government and opposition groups to find a political solution. We have also agreed to the needs to attempt to convene an international conference as soon as possible, may be even at the end of this month, that will be organized in Geneva for the purposes of development of the Geneva Conference held last June in Geneva. At the conference we are going to convene, Russia and the USA deem it necessary to work for the purposes of convincing representatives of the government and the opposition to define jointly, how they can fully fulfil the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012. Both parties have confirmed their commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria in the context of fulfilment of the Geneva Communiqué in full scope. We admit that we need mutual consent of the Syrian parties for that and are committed to use the possibilities available to Russia and the USA to make settle the government and the opposition at the negotiation table. We will do this in partnership with other interested foreign countries, which have to demonstrate their commitment to contribute to faster finding of a political solution by Syrians within the framework of Geneva agreements. We have also confirmed our commitment to a negotiation solution, we consider it as a very important means of stopping bloodshed, overcoming the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, coordinating approaches to the problem of safety of chemical weapons and preventing further regional destabilization. We think that the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 anticipates the creation of a transitional governing body as envisaged by the Geneva Communiqué. We presume that this body will undertake full executive powers in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué. We are convinced that this will be the best and the shortest way for settling the Syrian crisis.