On January 26, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov addressed members of the State Duma during the so-called ”government hour“ on current issues of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation and answered their questions.
At the end of the “government hour”, members of the State Duma unanimously endorsed the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation aimed at “ensuring national interests and implementing the strategic national priorities of the Russian Federation.”
The Chairman of the State
Duma Vyacheslav Volodin
Vyacheslav Victorovich The Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the eighth convocation. Elected in single mandate constituency № 163 (Saratov constituency - Saratov Oblast) stressed that such situation “happens very rarely”.
“The State Duma showed its assessment of the Foreign Ministry’s work. We all have the same opinion, despite the fact that there are five different political factions. Everyone can have different opinion, but we all agree that the Ministry’s activities are effective and the Minister can always count on the support of the Parliament,” he said.
“There are no different political opinions and clashes of ideological platforms when we are talking about our country and our people. Our authorities’ activity in this matter, guided by the President Vladimir Putin and Minister Sergey Lavrov, are more effective than ever,” emphasized Vyacheslav Volodin.
Security is well protected
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation stressed that “in any case, everyone should proceed from the fact that the security of our country and its citizens is an absolute priority and it will be consistently ensured under all circumstances.”
Sergey Lavrov added that the US and the European allies “are redoubling their efforts to deter Russia”.
“The United States and the European allies, completely forgotten the culture of diplomacy, have been redoubling their efforts to deter our country,” he said.
“The President has repeatedly spoken about the current international situation and mentioned our foreign policy tasks and initiatives. He emphasized all the fundamental accents at the recent expanded meetings of the Boards of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, as well as mentioned that in his other speeches and press conferences. Profound changes have occurred in the international arena, and those changes are not positive, to put it mildly. The whole system is reeling,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He also stressed that the states of the so-called historical West “are still not ready to accept the realities of the emerging multipolar world, which should be more fair and democratic than a world dominated by one state.”
Possible retaliatory measures
The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Moscow would not allow “to tangle in discussions” the proposals on security guarantees.
If there is no constructive response and the West continues its aggressive course and ignores Russia's demands, then, according to him, as the President has repeatedly stated, Moscow will take the necessary retaliatory measures.
The Minister added that Russia expected to receive a response from the United States and NATO to its security proposals that week.
“On January 21, at the request of my American colleagues, I had talks on this issue with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He assured that they would sent written responses explaining the position of the United States on our specific requirements this week and we hope that these assurances will be fulfilled,” said Sergey Lavrov.
According to him, “depending on the content of this response, we together with our colleagues from other departments will prepare proposals on further process which will be sent to the President.”
Situation in Ukraine
The Minister also mentioned the current situation in Ukraine. He recalled that the United States and its European allies “continue to conduct provocative military maneuvers near our borders, involving more and more the Kiev regime into the NATO activities, supplying it with lethal equipment and pushing it to perform direct provocations against the Russian Federation.”
“And against this background, there are those especially cynical demands to us to stop military exercises on our own territory, while we have the full indisputable right to do that,” he said.
“The Westerner states led by the USA are trying to oppose the objective course of history, they are striving to gain a unilateral advantage,” the Minister said.
He also noted the importance of implementing the Minsk agreements. “We constantly urged the United States, France, Germany, and other Western colleagues that are able to influence the Kiev regime to force it to strictly comply with the Minsk agreements,” Sergey Lavrov added.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Moscow would prevent all attempts to present Russia as a party to the conflict in Ukraine. “We will continue to prevent all attempts to shift the responsibility for the lack of progress to Russia and to present our country as a party to the conflict, as the Western countries have been outrageously trying to do that,” he said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs also told about development of foreign cooperation. He noted the enhancement of cooperation with the countries of Africa, Latin America and China. According to Sergey Lavrov, Russia supports dialogue and search for a balance of interests.
“Russia-China strategic partnership could be a good example of development of interstate relations in the 21st century. In some respects, it has reached a more advanced level than even the traditional military-political alliance,” he said.
Sergey Lavrov also noted development of cooperation with India and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region, as it could be called a promising cooperation.
Speaking about China, the Foreign Minister said that “the West is trying to punish the Russian Federation and China using various ”unsuitable tools“, including sanctions”.
“[The West] is trying, as they say, to punish those who pursue an independent policy, primarily our country and the People’s Republic of China, using all variety of unsuitable tools such as various sanctions, demonization in the media space, provocations by special services and much more,” he said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs also noted the regular close contacts between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Federal Assembly. He stressed the importance of further development of parliamentary diplomacy.
Position of the State Duma Сommittees
During the ”government
hour“ the Chairmen of three committees of the State Duma — Chairman of the Committee on Control Oleg Morozov
Oleg Victorovich , Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky Slutsky
Leonid Eduardovich and Chairman of the Committee on Issues of the Commonwealth of Independent States and Contacts with Fellow Countryman Leonid Kalashnikov Kalashnikov
Leonid Ivanovich presented the Committees’ positions.
Oleg Morozov stressed that the members of the State Duma supported the activities of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and the current “government hour” had proved that. According to him, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “is the main promoter of Russia's interests in the international arena, which professionally doing that, while showing caution”.
Leonid Slutsky, in turn, spoke about the development of parliamentary diplomacy. He said that the 3rd International Forum “Development of Parliamentarism” was planned to be held in 2022. According to the parliamentarian, the main topic of the Forum “will include the most urgent climate agenda.” The 5th Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments is also planned to be held this year.
“We are in close cooperation with the Foreign Ministry in all these and many other formats. Therefore, these formats are developing successfully,” said Leonid Slutsky.
The Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs stressed that Sergey Lavrov “always welcomes the proposals from members of the State Duma”.
Leonid Kalashnikov also acknowledged “respectful and responsible cooperation” with the Russian Foreign Ministry.