Interview with Vitaly Churkin

Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told RT about the country's position on the key international issues: Kosovo, Iran and other topics.

Russia Today: The 62nd General Assembly is underway at the United Nations. What role is Russia playing? What draft resolutions is Russia planning to submit?

Anatoly Churkin: We have three major resolutions in mind. One is to enhance transparency in space activities. Obviously, the big target of this resolution is ultimately banning the weaponisation of outer space. We are also going to have a draft resolution on information security which is targeted at preventing high tech to be used for hostile purposes. The third draft resolution will be on the forms of racism. For us the core of this resolution is fighting against the glorification of Nazism – which is a very disconcerting development of the early 21st century, at least in Europe.

There’ll be two more draft resolutions which we’ll be offering together with other countries of the Eurasian Economic Cooperation. One of them aims the development of co-operation between the Eurasian Economic Cooperation and the UN.

RT: What is Russia’s position regarding Iran and Kosovo?

A.C.: Let me start with Kosovo. We are going to have two major developments in New York this week: the ministerial meeting of the Contact Group on September 27 – followed the next day by a direct meeting between the two parties. Serbia’s President and Prime Minister as well as the leadership of Kosovo are going to arrive in New York. This is going to be the first meeting of this kind under the new format. The position of the Russian Federation is very clear – that is we all must encourage both parties to reach an amicable agreement. Only such a solution can be afterwards supported by the Security Council. This is the only track that can be followed. I think that the first efforts of the new Troika – which was formed by the Contact Group composed of high-level representatives of Russia, the U.S. and the EU – have been encouraging. The first contacts of the Troika with the parties have showed that there’s some room for further work. The ministerial group of the Contact Group will send a strong signal to the parties and the parties should take every effort in exerting this signal to reach a mutually accepted solution on Kosovo.

As for Iran, we are in favour of continuing the common strategy of the six, that is a diplomatic and political solution to this issue. Let’s see how this discussion goes.

RT: On Monday there was a ground-breaking meeting on climate change, with more than 80 world leaders attending. What is Russia’s stance regarding climate change?

A.C.: Russia is a very active and constructive player in this area. Russia is in favour of working out an international solution, which will succeed the Kyoto Protocol and which will help tackle this very important problem of global warming. As you know, it was Russia’s ratification of the protocol which allowed the document to enter into force. We are ready to co-operate with others. Our goal is to prepare for negotiations this December leading hopefully to a new agreement which will succeed Kyoto in 2012.