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24 September 201422:15

Response of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the question from the media regarding the address by the U.S. President to the UN General Assembly in New York on 24 September 2014


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Question: Could you give some follow-up comments on the statement U.S. President Barack Obama made in his address to the UN General Assembly, in which, in actual fact, he equalised international terrorism in the Middle East, the situation with the Ebola virus and Russia's actions regarding Ukraine?

Also, it was reported that the U.S. is considering lifting unilateral sanctions against Russia if Russia fulfils certain conditions. Specifically, they were talking about a so-called "buffer zone." What is Russia's stance on this issue? Will you discuss it at a bilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry?

Sergey Lavrov: Speaking of President Obama's speech, I think we came second as a threat to international security. The Ebola virus was first. "Russian aggression in Europe" was second and ISIL was third, as were al-Qaeda and other terrorists who are now bossing the show in the Middle East and mainly in the countries in which the United States intervened – unlawfully and in violation of international laws.

What was also strange to me was that the U.S. President said that now there is more freedom and safety in the world. I could not understand if he was being serious. I was thinking there was something Orwell-ian in his words. Back in his time, George Orwell invented "a ministry of truth." It appears to me this concept persists even today.

Today's speech by the U.S. President is an American view of the world explained by Mr Obama, who has repeatedly stressed that he and his country are exceptional. It is a view of the world from a country that upholds its own laws in its national security doctrine, regardless of any UN Security Council resolutions or other international regulations – and uses force at its own discretion. Therefore, I think he did not succeed in delivering "a peacemaker's speech" as it was intended, if we compare it to the reality.

Our objective is to grind out international conflicts – but not through unilateral accusations and by laying one's own fault at somebody else's door but through honest and equal mutually respectful dialogue. I will say this at the meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry today.

As far as the sanctions are concerned, that is a problem of the U.S. The situation in Ukraine does not concern the U.S. at all but the Ukrainians who met in Minsk several times and signed two agreements. Representatives from the OSCE and Russia helped in maintaining the dialogue. The Protocol and the Memorandum contain all the agreements that must be adhered to. This is what the Ukrainians came to, and I think it is not appropriate to dictate any parametres of those agreements.

24 September 2014


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