Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks during the ceremony for signing the Agreement on the Foundations of Relations between Russia and Antigua and Barbuda, Moscow, June 8, 2021
Mr Prime Minister,
I am happy to see you again, even if online. You and I met in St Petersburg two years ago as part of your participation in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
We have just signed a historic document ̶ the Agreement on the Foundations of Relations between the Russian Federation and Antigua and Barbuda. This treaty creates an additional ground to promote our relations following the document on repealing visa formalities for travel by the citizens of Russia and Antigua and Barbuda that we signed in June 2019. In other words, we now have a very solid base for expanding interstate relations in politics, trade, the economy and other fields and for maximising contacts between our citizens, including tourist, education and other exchanges.
I am confident that the efforts to broaden our relations as much as possible will acquire additional dynamism and will thus underscore the importance of Antigua and Barbuda for Russia in the Caribbean subregion and the role of the Russian Federation for Antigua and Barbuda in your external relations.
We are committed to further strengthening interaction in providing emergency response and relief in natural disasters. We will build up education, cultural and humanitarian exchanges, and cooperation in personnel training in diplomacy and law enforcement.
We are committed to promoting joint economic initiatives and investment projects.
I would like to note our close positions on key items on the regional and global agendas, our shared commitment to multilateral principles in international affairs, UN centrality and the observance of international law.
On a separate note, I would like to note that in July you will take over the chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with which we have established contacts, and we want to deepen them. I hope that under your chairmanship we will be able to promote these relations across various areas.
I would also like to note the productive work of the Honorary Consul of Antigua and Barbuda to Russia, Julien Hansen, who is present here. I’m delighted to welcome him to this ceremony. We hope our friends from Antigua and Barbuda will gradually work towards accrediting a full ambassador to the Russian Federation.
For our part, we would like to thank you for the prompt issuance of an agrement to the new Ambassador of the Russian Federation Sergey Petrovich, who will soon start working in Jamaica and will certainly visit your country to present his credentials.
In closing, I would like to congratulate you on the successful implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination drive. Your country is one of the leading countries in the Caribbean in terms of the percent of vaccinated people.
We have delivered the first batches of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to your country. We are aware that you, Mr Prime Minister, personally welcomed this cargo at the airport in April. We are ready to continue this cooperation.
Antigua and Barbuda will mark 40 years of independence in November. I hope that you completely overcome the coronavirus by this date and achieve success in other areas of your responsible work.
Thank you very much again, Mr Prime Minister.