Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement at a joint news conference with Chairman of the CIS Foreign Ministers Council, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and Chairman of the Executive Committee and Executive Secretary of the CIS Sergey Lebedev following the CIS Foreign Ministers Council meeting, Moscow, April 5, 2019
Ladies and gentlemen,
As a host of today’s event that was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, I can confirm that we did a good job.
We exchanged opinions on key international issues in the context of the threats and challenges that are regrettably mounting in the international arena.
We looked at the serious erosion of international law, interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states depending on political expediency and increasingly frequent use of ultimatums and dictates. Our common opinion: we need to more closely coordinate our actions both within the CIS community and with other states in defending the standards and principles of the UN Charter.
We discussed in detail multi-lateral cooperation within the CIS, including in the area of foreign policy. To step up the coordination of our actions, we endorsed a plan for CIS multi-level foreign ministry consultations in 2019 and simultaneously acknowledged the successful implementation of a similar plan for the previous year.
We attach much importance to the initiative set forth by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov – a programme of action to promote partnership between the diplomatic services of the CIS member states. The programme is being finalised now. As my colleagues said, we expect to finish this very important document soon.
We reviewed questions that are related, regrettably, to the increasingly frequent attempts to falsify and rewrite history, primarily the history of World War II. We mapped out specific steps for further work in this area. We adopted the Kyrgyzstan-drafted address of the CIS foreign ministers on the need to preserve and provide proper care of military burial sites and military monuments related to the Great Patriotic War. We approved a draft statement on the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, which will be submitted for consideration by the heads of state.
Before the start of today’s meeting, an exhibit of archival materials was set up in the Foreign Ministry mansion. It demonstrated, through documents, the events that preceded WWII, which were the cause of this tragedy of the 20th century.
One of the key aspects of cooperation between the CIS countries next year will be preparations for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The preparations are already underway. Thus, in line with the decision of the CIS Head of State Council, Russia drafted a sample of a uniform anniversary medal devoted to this date. It was presented at today’s meeting.
We paid much attention to the cultural and humanitarian aspects of our cooperation and approved draft agreements on coordinating fundamental research and cooperation in museum studies.
We talked a lot about human rights and ways of promoting the standards and principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted in 1948 and remains a firm foundation of international cooperation in this area without double standards and with respect for the cultural and civilisational diversity of the current world. We agreed to continue coordinating our actions on human rights.
We discussed cooperation between the CIS countries in law enforcement and approved a number of documents related to countering cybercrime. In general, especially at the limited-attendance meeting, we spoke much about the problems that emerge in cyberspace and the need to consolidate international information security and coordinate our approaches to the work launched by the UN in this vital area.
It is noteworthy that Mr Meredov and I signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation between Russia and Turkmenistan in ensuring international information security, on the sidelines of today’s meeting. This is the first such agreement between Russia and a Central Asian country.
Everyone without exception showed interest in the issues raised in the concept of Turkmenistan’s CIS Presidency. They concern the development of transport and logistics projects in our common space. In this context, at the limited attendance meeting, the participants had an engaged conversation on the status and prospects of Eurasian integration in all of Eurasia and the CIS’s role in these processes. I think this discussion was very useful.
All participants noted the seamless holding of today’s meeting chaired by the foreign minister of Turkmenistan. They also emphasised that the Executive Committee, headed by Sergey Lebedev, was well prepared for this event.
I am sure that the documents approved today and the discussions we had will contribute to the consistent expansion of our cooperation in diverse areas. We agreed to hold the next Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Ashgabat on October 10 of this year, on the eve of the CIS summit.