Unilateral sanctions prevent development of poor states - Russian FM

The practice of unilateral sanctions beyond the framework of UN Security Council decisions should be stopped, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said at the Millennium Development Goals summit.

“We cannot but express serious concern in connection with the persisting practice of unilateral measures of compulsion,” Lavrov said, speaking at the UN-sponsored summit on Tuesday.

Such measures are introduced by certain states “against this or that developing country in addition to what is envisaged by the UN Charter and decisions of the Security Council,” Itar-Tass quoted Lavrov as saying. This practice is at odds with Millennium Development Goals, the minister said, adding that it must be stopped.

Although sometimes the world community has to resort to the mechanism of economic sanctions, “consensus has been reached long time ago on a need to observe the so-called humanitarian limits of sanctions,” Russian FM said.

The negative impact on the civilian population and social-economic development should be avoided, Lavrov noted. He described a stable social and economic development of all countries as “a necessary element of the modern collective security system.”

In conditions of globalization, disregard for the needs of those with a low level of income may increase the threat of terrorism, infectious diseases, uncontrolled migration, the minister warned.

Meanwhile, Russia is continuing to support the development of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as states in Africa and other regions. Russia’s assistance amounted to US$220 million in 2008, and grew to $800 million in 2009, Lavrov said, Irat-Tass reported.

CIS countries have received from Moscow preferential credits and gratis aid worth over $4.6 billion during the time of economic crisis, he said.

Lavrov also stressed the need to improve co-operation between UN member states in fighting natural and technogenic catastrophes. “We believe it is important to qualitatively improve co-ordination of our joint actions,” he said.

The Millennium Development Goals summit this week reviewed the progress of implementing tasks set by the UN a decade ago in the fight against global poverty.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the eight millennium development goals as achievable, but stressed that member state must fulfill their commitments.

Sergey Borisov, RT