Sergey Lavrov: Ability of West to lie is very well known

Sergey Lavrov answers media questions on 5.5.2023 after meeting with SCO

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media ques­tions follo­wing the SCO Foreign Minis­ters Council meeting, Panaji, May 5, 2023

Good after­noon!

We have concluded the meeting of the Foreign Minis­ters Council of the Shanghai Coope­ra­tion Orga­ni­sa­tion. We have prepared “direc­tions,” which are yet to be coor­di­nated ahead of the SCO summit sche­duled for June-July 2023. Sche­dules for the heads of state are being fina­lised right now. It is unders­tood that a large package of docu­ments will be approved, prima­rily a poli­tical decla­ra­tion, as well as a number of state­ments on de-radi­cal­i­sa­tion, digital trans­for­ma­tion, health­care and other areas.

We have a common vision of problems persis­ting in the inter­na­tional arena. Our shared desire is to coor­di­nate our actions at the UN and on the Eura­sian conti­nent with such orga­ni­sa­tions as the EAEU and ASEAN, and more globally, to coope­rate with the BRICS countries.

We have paid atten­tion to both the economic and huma­ni­ta­rian agendas.

  • There is an initia­tive advanced by Presi­dent of Russia Vladimir Putin to coor­di­nate the crea­tion of an SCO sports association.
  • We also suggest estab­li­shing a medical association.
  • Our colle­agues from Central Asia are inte­rested in promo­ting coope­ra­tion on infor­ma­tion secu­rity and the fight against orga­nised crime and drug traf­fi­cking in the SCO space.  We think it is important to estab­lish rele­vant divi­sions and let them be coor­di­nated by the SCO Regional Anti-Terro­rist Structure.

We still have time, though not much. There is a shared commit­ment to hold a successful SCO Summit in New Delhi in the summer of 2023.

Ques­tion: The BRICS count­ries are talking about intro­du­cing a common currency for mutual sett­le­ments. Is it true that it is going to be called “BRIC”? Has there been any discus­sion about the possi­bi­lity of SCO count­ries using such a currency?

Sergey Lavrov: The name of the currency is the least important thing. You are right, the main thing now is to look at prac­tical issues that will safe­guard coope­ra­tion of inde­pen­dent, auto­no­mous states against hostile actions by the West, abusing its posi­tion in the world economy, as well as against actions by the US abusing the dollar’s posi­tion as a reserve currency. The euro also uses similar ugly approaches.

There is an under­stan­ding that the role of national curren­cies in sett­le­ments between SCO members should be increased. Prac­tices curr­ently taking shape within the Eura­sian Deve­lo­p­ment Bank, the Asian Bank for Recon­s­truc­tion and Deve­lo­p­ment and the BRICS New Deve­lo­p­ment Bank could be used for this purpose. All this has been discussed and is relevant.

Spea­king of the BRICS New Deve­lo­p­ment Bank, we took note of the initia­tive that has been repea­tedly voiced by Presi­dent of the Fede­ra­tive Repu­blic of Brazil Lula da Silva: to switch to our own curren­cies with the pros­pect (this is quite possible) of crea­ting an aggre­gate currency. All of this is now being analysed by our count­ries’ rele­vant agen­cies – finance minis­tries and central banks. This work is in progress. It cannot be stopped now.

Ques­tion: Moscow has called the drone attack on the Kremlin an act of terror. Has Russia noti­fied its SCO part­ners about its posi­tion via diplo­matic chan­nels? How can Russia‚s atti­tude to China’s peace plan change in this context? Can you comment on what happened in Ankara yesterday, when a Ukrai­nian deputy actually atta­cked a member of Russia’s State Duma dele­ga­tion? How long will we put up with such behaviour?

Sergey Lavrov: Regar­ding the terro­rist attack on the Kremlin and the President’s resi­dence, our views have been provided. Nearly ever­yone I talked with yesterday expressed their disap­pr­oval. For example, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Repu­blic of Paki­stan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari openly condemned the terro­rist attack and expressed the hope that the truth would be estab­lished and the culprits iden­ti­fied without delay.

As for how this can influence the situa­tion in Ukraine, I believe that we should stop waiting for new inci­dents and provo­ca­tions. Vladimir Zelensky and his team are doing ever­y­thing possible in the media envi­ron­ment and in prac­tice to dampen the desire of self-respec­ting count­ries to commu­ni­cate with them. This is so. We see that this under­stan­ding is growing.

Nevert­heless, we never refused to settle the problems that have been created by the United States and its satel­lites’ efforts to supply of weapons to Ukraine for confron­ta­tion with Russia. We see a growing aware­ness of the fact that these problems cannot be settled on the contact line in Donbass. Some people would like to freeze that line and then to think about what to do with the overall situation.

The geopo­li­tical nature of the current events is obvious to ever­yone, and it is also obvious that the crises in Ukraine and other parts of the world cannot be settled without sett­ling the main geopo­li­tical issue, which is the desire of the West to main­tain its hegemony and to dictate its will to all and sundry.

It you read China’s 12-point peace plan carefully, you will see that Ukraine is only mentioned once, in the head­line. The rest of the text has to do with ensu­ring indi­vi­sible secu­rity and pled­ging not to pursue one’s own secu­rity at the expense of others’ secu­rity and not to adopt ille­gi­ti­mate unila­teral sanc­tions. These issues cannot be settled with Vladimir Zelensky, who is a Western puppet, but only directly with his hand­lers. We have long been ready for this dialogue. We submitted our propo­sals in 2009, and the last time we sent them to the Ameri­cans and to the NATO Head­quar­ters in December 2021. The West arro­gantly rejected our propo­sals. But we will even­tually have to discuss this issue, seek solu­tions to all these problems and return to the funda­mental prin­ci­ples of the UN Charter, first of all the prin­ciple of sove­reign equa­lity of states. This discus­sion will be held sooner or later. We are ready for this. We are patient people.

Terro­rist Attack on Kremlin & Presi­dent Vladimir Putin – May 3, 2023, Moscow

Ques­tion: Follo­wing the terro­rist attack over the Kremlin, many well-known poli­ti­cians called this a casus belli. How appro­priate is it, in your opinion, to use ancient Roman termi­no­logy in condi­tions of hybrid stand­offs? How can we use these terms if they remain topical in such situa­tions? How will this impact rela­tions between Russia and Washington that could not have been unaware of Ukraine’s intentions?

Sergey Lavrov: Just like with the poten­tial new currency, I don’t think we need to dwell on the name or terminology.

This was a hostile act. It is abso­lutely clear that the terro­rists in Kiev could not have perpe­trated it without noti­fying their masters. We will respond with specific actions, rather than discus­sions as to whether this is a casus belli or not.

I want to say once again that we are very patient. There is a saying that Russians are slow to saddle up, but ride fast.

I have noted a state­ment by US Secre­tary of State Antony Blinken that the United States will not tell Kiev what methods they should use to defend the sove­reignty of Ukraine. This state­ment probably says everything.

Ques­tion: One of the provi­sions of the Russian foreign policy stra­tegy deals with the new inter­na­tional order. What role should the Shanghai Coope­ra­tion Orga­ni­sa­tion play in the inter­na­tional order proposed by Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: The new Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Fede­ra­tion, approved by Presi­dent of Russia Vladimir Putin in March 2023, high­lights the SCO’s role in a new inter­na­tional order. It lists the SCO as one of the centres of an emer­ging multi­polar inter­na­tional order, along with the EAEU, the CSTO, the CIS, ASEAN, regional asso­cia­tions of deve­lo­ping count­ries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

In 2016, a major step was taken in this direc­tion when Presi­dent Putin, spea­king at the Russia-ASEAN Summit, put forward the idea of crea­ting a Greater Eura­sian Part­ner­ship invol­ving the SCO, the EAEU and ASEAN. We believe that any other state or orga­ni­sa­tion exis­ting on our vast shared conti­nent should be free to join this Eura­sian part­ner­ship. Under­stan­d­ably, our shared loca­tion creates a serious compe­ti­tive advan­tage for streng­thening the posi­tions of our region in the global economy, finan­cial system and trans­port chains. All this calls for substan­tial work. However, the basic line has been set, and we are starting out.

Ques­tion: What is Afghanistan’s status within the SCO? Afgha­ni­stan is still an SCO observer state, although, not a single member state has reco­g­nised its new govern­ment. Will the upco­ming summit take any decis­ions in this regard?

Sergey Lavrov: Today, we came to terms on reaf­fir­ming the SCO-Afgha­ni­stan Contact Group. This group exists, although it has been some time since it met. One of the reasons is the Taliban’s status. Thus far, it is not reco­g­nised “de jure.” We are expec­ting the Taliban leaders to fulfil their promises on forming an inclu­sive govern­ment not only in terms of ethnic groups but also by ensu­ring the presence of the entire spec­trum of Afghanistan’s poli­tical forces. This has yet to be done. We are moni­to­ring the imple­men­ta­tion of their assu­rances that they will respect human rights, ensure secu­rity in the terri­tory of Afgha­ni­stan, and eradi­cate the threats of terro­rism and drug traf­fi­cking. All of our SCO colle­agues have taken a united posi­tion on this.

I am confi­dent that the proposal we intro­duced today – to convene the SCO-Afgha­ni­stan Contact Group as soon as possible – will be imple­mented. In fact, the situa­tion calls for urgent measures. The Ameri­cans are again attemp­ting to inter­fere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. There is convin­cing evidence to the effect that the United States supports the terro­rist groups entren­ched in the terri­tory of Afgha­ni­stan that are opposed to the Taliban, inclu­ding the Islamic State, the Islamic Move­ment of East Turke­stan, and Al-Qaeda. The Ameri­cans have not aban­doned their attempts to rein­tro­duce US mili­tary infra­struc­ture in the region surroun­ding Afgha­ni­stan, in Central Asia. Ever­yone is well aware of the serious threat inherent in these attempts. We will reso­lutely oppose them.

Ques­tion: Was the recent attack on the Kremlin discussed during the bila­teral meeting with Foreign Minister of India Subrah­manyam Jaishankar?

Sergey Lavrov: We did not discuss in detail the terro­rist attack against the Kremlin with the Foreign Minister of India. We know India’s posi­tion, which favours stop­ping any provo­ca­tions, or terro­rist attacks. There is no doubt about this.

Ques­tion: There have been reports that nego­tia­tions on trade in rupees have been suspended. What will the discus­sion be moving forward? Any comment?

Sergey Lavrov: As for the rupee, this is a problem. We have accu­mu­lated billions of rupees in accounts in Indian banks. We need to use this money, but to do this, these rupees must be trans­ferred into another currency, and this is being discussed now.

Ques­tion: Also, how does Russia look at India’s G20 presi­dency and its role in resol­ving the major chal­lenges the world is facing today?

Sergey Lavrov: We are working on this. We supported the Indian presi­dency. We supported the programme of the Indian presi­dency. Already about 100 events have taken place under Indian chair­man­ship. We will be able to present to you our final assess­ment after the summit, which is coming soon.

Ques­tion: Ukraine and the US have rejected alle­ga­tions that the drone attack against the Kremlin was carried out by them. Are you still blaming Ukraine or the West? Also, did you have any discus­sion on this with your Indian coun­ter­part during the bila­teral meeting?

Sergey Lavrov: I just answered this ques­tion about my discus­sion with my Indian coun­ter­part. You were not listening.

As regards your first ques­tion, do you believe that as soon as the United States and Ukraine reject accu­sa­tions, we should stop thin­king about what we believe? This is not the case. The ability of our Ukrai­nian and Western friends to lie is very well known. This entire situa­tion is indi­ca­tive of the crisis, which is much deeper than the actions of the Zelensky regime.

Kommentieren Sie den Artikel

Bitte geben Sie Ihren Kommentar ein!
Bitte geben Sie hier Ihren Namen ein