“Constructive Iranian attitude is important now more than ever”- FM spokesman
Talks of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy took place in Deauville, France. This was the first meeting between the leaders of Russia, France and Germany in the format of the “Big Three” after a five-year hiatus. It ended with a joint statement reflecting the main outcome of the talks. More information is available on the website of the President of Russia.
Presentation of credentials by foreign ambassadors in Moscow
Russian President Medvedev on October 18 received the credentials from several ambassadors of foreign countries accredited to Moscow.
65th anniversary of the establishment of the UN
October 24 marks the 65th anniversary of the UN. Over the years, the world Organization has proved its efficiency and effectiveness in addressing a wide range of global issues common to all states. There is no doubt that the UN has earned the trust that different countries feel towards it, because it has significantly contributed to the achievement of lasting peace, security and prosperity throughout the world. The results of the difficult work of the United Nations, which came into being on the basis of a polycentric vision of international relations, have proven that there is no alternative to this Organization with a universal mandate and its generally recognized legitimacy in the modern world. Such a high role of the UN in the international arena is due to its involvement in tackling the whole spectrum of problems on the current international agenda. The UN member states are jointly looking for answers to questions related to the maintenance of international and regional peace and security, disarmament and nonproliferation, counter-terrorism, climate change and overcoming the financial and economic crisis. The UN has a unique ability to combine a broad policy approach to specific activities regarding humanitarian relief, international development assistance, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts and to enlist to this end not only its own resources, but also those of its specialized agencies and the international financial organizations, donor countries, working closely with regional and subregional entities. It is necessary to increase this potential of the world body and to give it full support.
Lavrov’s upcoming visit to Poland
At the invitation of Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will pay a working visit to Warsaw on October 27-28, whose main purpose is to conduct the sixth meeting of the Russian-Polish Cooperation Strategy Committee, chaired by the foreign ministers of both countries. As previously arranged, the present Committee meeting will be held in an enlarged format with the participation of representatives from the relevant agencies of Russia and Poland most closely involved in the bilateral cooperation process, as well as the focal points for major cooperation mechanisms, including the Group for Difficult Issues arising from the history of Russian-Polish relations, the Public Dialogue Forum, and interregional interaction entities. It is planned to comprehensively review a wide range of topical issues in Russian-Polish relations and the state of the priority areas of cooperation, acquiring in recent years a new dynamic. Lavrov and Sikorski will continue to exchange views on key issues on the international agenda.
Upcoming visit to Moscow by Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano will be staying in Moscow on October 25-26. He will take part in the 5th International Energy Week “Moscow Energy Dialogue,” and is also scheduled to meet with senior officials from the Russian Foreign Ministry, Rosatom, Rostekhnadzor, and the Federal Medical-Biological Agency. We hope that the visit of the Director General will serve to strengthen constructive cooperation between Russia and the IAEA and will help elevate it to a new level.
Lavrov’s upcoming meeting with Montenegrin Foreign Minister Milan Rocen
Scheduled for October 26 is a working meeting between Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Milan Rocen, who will be in Moscow on the occasion of the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Russian-Montenegrin Committee for Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation. The talks are intended to discuss the state of and prospects for bilateral ties, having a traditionally friendly character, and to map out joint activities in the light of the upcoming 300th anniversary, in 2011, of the establishment of political relations between our countries. It is also planned to hold a thorough exchange of views on the current international agenda and the situation in the Balkans. The ministers will sign a Plan of Consultations between the foreign affairs agencies of Russia and Montenegro for 2011-2012.
Second part of the OSCE Review Conference
From 18 to 26 October, the second part of the Review Conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe prior to the OSCE Astana summit on 1-2 December is being held in Vienna. An appropriate commentary is posted on the Ministry’s website.
Situation around the settlement in Darfur
I was asked the question: “How can you comment on the October 15 statement by officials of the Government of Sudan regarding proposals for bringing UN peacekeepers into ‘buffer zones’ between Sudan’s North and South?” Ideas had indeed circulated in the UN about creating so-called buffer zones in the most conflict-prone areas of contact between southerners and northerners in order to prevent outbreaks of violence before the January 2011 referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan. Security in these areas would presumably be ensured by peacekeepers from the UN Mission in Sudan. At the same time, doubts have been expressed about such ideas, including because of the difficulty of having them realized by the forces the Mission has available. Besides, its mandate lacks such authority. And, of course, for the deployment of UN troops the consent of the host country is necessary. We also have doubts. Such “buffer zones” could be perceived by northerners and southerners as a kind of separation barrier, which would run counter to provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and would prejudge the outcome of the plebiscite on the South’s status.
Around the Iranian nuclear program
I was asked: “How could you comment on Ahmadinejad's statement that Iran is ready to resume talks on its nuclear program with the international community?” We have taken note of the statements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about his willingness to arrange a meeting with E3+3 in mid-November, as proposed by EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Ashton. A constructive Iranian attitude is important now more than ever and we look forward to it, including in the formation of an agenda for the meeting. We would welcome the transfer by Tehran to the Office of the EU High Representative of a formal consent to start dialogue with E3+3. This will make it possible to more specifically define the date and venue of the meeting. We presume that the agenda should necessarily include a comprehensive settlement to the situation around the Iranian nuclear program. Such was the agreement reached at a meeting in Geneva in October 2009. We share this approach.
Korean Peninsula nuclear issue
Moscow has taken note of the remarks of a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea stands for the resumption of six-party talks to resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Other members of the negotiating process likewise do not question the need to return to the negotiating table. Intensive consultations are currently under way among the six nations with a view to resuming the talks with regard for the legitimate interests and concerns of all parties. We consider the various preparatory bilateral contacts useful, including those between Pyongyang and Seoul, on the understanding that they will facilitate resuming six-party talks on the basis of the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005.
Reduction of Georgia’s international legal relations with the CIS
As you know, on 18 August 2008 the Georgian MFA informed the CIS Executive Committee by a note of the Georgian parliament’s decision to terminate for Georgia the Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States of 8 December 1991, the Decision of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States on the Adoption of the Charter of the Commonwealth of Independent States of 22 January 1993 and the Treaty Establishing the Economic Union of 24 September 1993. In accordance with Article 9 of the CIS Charter, Georgia officially ceased to be a member of this international organization on August 18, 2009. The meeting of the Council of CIS Foreign Ministers on Oct. 9, 2008 in Bishkek adopted a Decision on Georgia's Membership in the CIS, whereby the CIS Executive Committee was tasked, in cooperation with member states, with making an inventory of the multilateral international agreements signed within the CIS framework and the decisions of the relevant CIS bodies, the agreement to be bound by which had been expressed by Georgia, as regards Georgia’s further participation in them. This work was carried out, and on Oc. 9, 2009 in Chisinau the CIS Council of Heads of State adopted a Decision on the participation of Georgia in the international treaties and decisions of the Commonwealth of Independent States, signed by all CIS states except Turkmenistan. The Annex thus includes two lists of international treaties concluded within the CIS framework and signed by Georgia. List No. 1 covers international treaties (75 in all) with an unlimited subject composition in which, in accordance with international law, Georgia can continue its participation as a third country. List No. 2 comprises the international treaties (23 in all) with a subject composition limited to the CIS member states which ceased to have effect for Georgia from August 18, 2009. There likewise ceased to have effect from August 18, 2009 for Georgia all the Decisions of the statutory bodies of the Commonwealth whose participant it had been. During August-September this year the CIS Executive Committee received the notes from the Georgian Foreign Ministry about Georgia's withdrawal from 16 international treaties with an unlimited subject composition signed within the CIS framework, that is, those that remained open for further participation in them by Georgia. To a significant extent, they are the agreements relating to military and military-technical cooperation, civil air search and rescue, education, health care, as well as cooperation in the electricity sector. Georgia's withdrawal from the CIS was an initiative of Georgia’s current leadership. Of course, it can, itself, decide where and how to interact with the Commonwealth of Independent States, which continues advancing in an ongoing way. At the same time, it is important for us to take into account the interests of the Georgian people, with whom we have longstanding ties of friendship and shared history.
On the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry
There was published on Oct. 19 at the Russian Foreign Ministry site a statement on the withdrawal of the Russian border post from Perevi village on the border between Georgia and the Republic of South Ossetia.
The 2nd session of the Intergovernmental Russian-Abkhaz Commission on Socio-Economic Cooperation (IGC) took place on October 15. Its co-chairs, Russian Minister of Regional Development Vladimir Basargin and Abkhazian Prime Minister Sergey Shamba, led the delegations. The meeting reviewed the implementation of the measures under the Comprehensive Plan to assist the socio-economic development of Abkhazia in 2010-2012. It approved procedures for consideration of current issues in the realization of the Comprehensive Plan, which will make it possible to promptly deal with emerging issues in between IGC meetings. The next meeting of the IPC is to be held in March 2011 in Russia. One notable event was the Abkhazian Business Forum held in Sukhum on 15-16 October, which brought together a wide range of government and business representatives from both countries. The Russian delegation was headed by Sergey Naryshkin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, who addressed the gathering with words of welcome. President Sergei Bagapsh and other senior Abkhazian leaders took part in the forum. Russia’s regions were very solidly represented (at the level of governors – the Nizhniy Novgorod, Sverdlovsk and Smolensk Regions). Impressive was the presence of representatives of major Russian businesses – companies Rosneft, Gazprom and Megafon, banks VTB and VEB. This fact showed the high interest of Russian business leaders in Abkhazia and should encourage other participants of foreign economic activity to enter the Abkhaz market. Inauguration of a number of Russian-Abkhaz cooperation projects (Rosneft’s network of petrol stations, the Russian Book House, the residential building of the nursing home Nadezhda) took place. On the sidelines of the forum, the signing took place of a number of Russian-Abkhaz bilateral agreements: on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters; on direct international rail services; on sea links; on fisheries cooperation; and on cooperation with respect to the protection of historical and cultural monuments was organized. In addition, agreements on inter-regional cooperation were concluded with the Nizhniy Novgorod, Sverdlovsk and Smolensk Regions, along with an Agreement on Cooperation between the Abkhaz and Nizhny Novgorod State Universities and a protocol of intensions between the Government of the Republic of Abkhazia and company Agropark-Management. All this adds significantly to the juridical base of our relations with Abkhazia. The work of the IGC and the keen discussion at the Abkhazian Business Forum have borne out the general constructive attitude to rehabilitating Abkhazia and gradually bringing it up to the level of self-sufficiency through close cooperation with Russia.
Japan port call by Russian warship Admiral Panteleyev
A Pacific Fleet squadron, led by the large ASW ship Admiral Panteleyev, made a friendly port call at Hakodate, Japan, on October 15-19. On approach to Hakodate the squadron was given a solemn reception – the destroyer Amagiri of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force welcomed the Russian sailors and, according to the rules of maritime hospitality, escorted them to the floating base of the port of Hakodate. On the pier the cruise commander, Captain 1st rank Sokolov, commanders of the consorts and the members of the crews were greeted with an orchestra by the staff of the Russian Embassy and Military AttachÃÂ¹ in Japan, Japanese sailors, senior Hakodate City Hall officials and city residents. A press conference was held on the coast, attended by numerous correspondents of Japan’s central and local media. The Russian sailors paid courtesy calls to their Japanese counterparts at the FB of Hakodate and to the city hall, met with members of the municipal assembly, with the business community of the city, as well as visiting the regional Japan Coast Guard office. They were given a warm welcome in the Orthodox church of the city. The Russian sailors also visited the Russian cemetery of Hakodate where they laid wreaths on the graves of Russian sailors. The program for their stay was very rich, though not only in official events. After a tour of the city and its environs, a friendly game of volleyball with their Japanese colleagues took place, after which companionship continued at a protocol event. The visit took place in a warm, friendly atmosphere and was another indication of the strengthening of Russian-Japanese relations in different areas, including contacts between the defense agencies of the two countries.
Meeting of Business Council under auspices of Russian Foreign Minister
On October 26, a meeting of the Business Council under the auspices of the Russian Foreign Minister will be held at the Foreign Ministry premises under the theme of “Public-Private Partnership in the Baltic Sea Region: Ways for the Joint Exit from the Crisis.” It will be chaired by Sergey Lavrov. Invitations to attend the meeting have been sent to high-ranking representatives of the Federal Assembly and the regional authorities of the northwestern regions of Russia; to senior officials from the federal Ministries of Economic Development, Regional Development, Natural Resources, and Finance and from leading business associations; and to the heads of the boards of major Russian companies operating in the Baltic Sea region, such as Gazprom, Lukoil, Nord Stream, Vnesheconombank, INTER RAO UES, Rosatom, Russian Railways, and Rosneft. The meeting will aim to identify the best solutions to the task of uniting the efforts of state and private capital in the Baltic Sea region to accelerate the process of overcoming the financial and economic crisis. It is expected to assess the existing experience of partner cooperation and exchange views on how to use the advantages of public-private partnership to modernize the Russian economy and put it on the path of innovative development, to ensure the socio-economic strengthening of the Russian North-West through the consolidation of the resources of government and private business and to create a Smart Economy model there. All these issues will be examined through the prism of harnessing the potential of regional cooperation formats, primarily the Council of the Baltic Sea States, for developing the foundations of a common space of public-private partnership covering the entire region.
From the answers to media questions:
Question: What is the situation with the Russian vessel Lyubov Orlova? The Russian sailors were reportedly set to return home, but later it became known that their return was being delayed. Could you comment on that? Answer: I can comment on the situation, though briefly. Indeed, there were some media reports of a possible return of a part of the crew, but so far we have not received confirmation of this fact. I repeat we are closely watching the situation. Officials from the Russian Consulate General and Embassy in Ottawa are on the scene. We keep in touch with Canadian authorities. Question: During the Franco-German-Russian summit the issue of security and even Russia's entry into NATO was raised. At the same time, if we join NATO, then we’ll have a certain relationship developing with China, with which we, too, in turn, want to develop relations. What is a priority for the Russian Federation: the relationship with China or with Europe? Answer: We maintain and develop relations both with our colleagues from the NATO member countries and, as you know, quite successfully develop a variety of ties with our good neighbor, the People's Republic of China, as evidenced by those top-level visits which took place recently. So I would not draw any delimitative lines here. We develop relationships both within the Russia-NATO Council and with China. Question: Will Russia really join the project of a NATO missile defense shield or not? Answer: At the moment I have no comment, but I will make a note of this topic. President Medvedev yesterday announced a decision to take part in the Russia-NATO Council summit, and the agenda of this meeting will now be actively shaped. Question: Has the level of Russia's relations with Iran changed? Answer: Regarding Iran, we have always maintained mutually respectful relations with our Iranian partners. As to Iran’s nuclear program, we have always advocated its politico-diplomatic solution. As I said above, signals are now being sent from Tehran regarding holding of a meeting in the Group of Six format. We would like to get all this translated into practical action.