We need a common agenda in international affairs – Lavrov

The world needs a different, more consolidated approach to global problems, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

“The world today is at a turning point of its development. That has been acknowledged by all,” Sergey Lavrov said in his traditional speech celebrating the work of the diplomatic corps. “Right before our eyes a new, more democratic system of international relations is emerging. And the need for a consolidated approach to global problems comes to the forefront,” he said.

“We need a common agenda in international affairs; we need to harmonize relations between countries. That should be based on bringing their positions closer, on interdependence of their cultures and economies. That would mean a polar-centric world order emerging and effective and fair mechanisms of global management formed,” he said.

According to Lavrov, “a strong impetus to move on in this direction was given by the establishment of the G20 as the main mechanism for coordinating efforts in financial and economic problems.”

However, he went on, “we still have to determine clear rules of the game both within the G20 and in the way the body will cooperate with other international organizations, primarily the UN.”

Last year, Lavrov said, was marked by some significant changes like deepening of the integration within the CIS and improvement of atmosphere in Russian-American relations “including a fundamentally new agenda based on parity to replace to old START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)”. Russia is also developing strategic partnerships within the EU.

However, Lavrov said, stereotypes of the Cold War still remain in global and European practice. “This means we have to draw our partners more into the dialogue into such urgent questions like the European security treaty the creation of a new legal framework for international cooperation in the energy sector.”

“Our goal is to continue working actively to protect our national interests as much as possible, which will be in line with old traditions of our country as a leading power in the world,” he said.

The need for change is in the air everywhere, Lavrov said, adding that many Russian partners have reconsidered prospects of development of their relations with Moscow.

“We need to use this situation properly and use the positive changes to strengthen our relations with many countries. The main emphasis…is creating favorable conditions for making our economy innovative. It is important to use systemically factors of foreign policy to help our country in long-term development,” he said.

Therefore, according to President Medvedev’s order voiced in 2009, the Foreign Ministry prepared and submitted a program of activities to the head of state.

Lavrov also congratulated diplomats on behalf of President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin.