MUNICH, February 17. /TASS/. The participation of the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov at the Munich security conference is always one of the most anticipated events of the forum. Contact information of the foreign Minister on the sidelines of the event, as well as his statements in a speech are admitted to the major reports of both Russian and foreign media. Was no exception and the Munich current session. During his speech, Lavrov hall was full.
A long swim against the current
The Minister explained to the audience in the hall on the Saturday session, in fact, the main cause of the current crisis in relations between Russia and Western partners. Establishment of the dialogue on the logic of “master – slave” in which Moscow was given the role of the apprentice, was completely satisfied with the United States and Europe, so the strengthening of the Russian position in the world came to be regarded exclusively as a threat. “In my opinion, over the past decades, the EU was not able to find the Golden mean in the relations with our country”, – said Lavrov.
The formal reason of the deterioration of relations was a coup in Ukraine, which turned possible due to the West policy of “Eastern partnership”. Lavrov recalled that when the “Eastern partnership” was formed, there were assurances that it will not be directed against Russia.
According to him, today Ukraine, a country with great potential for life and talented people are plagued to a “state of inability to self-govern”. “Russia, like no other, is interested in resolving the domestic Ukrainian crisis,” – said the Minister.
Returning to the relationship with Brussels, the head of Russian diplomacy said that in the interests of Russia to have his neighbor strong, predictable European Union.
“It’s time to stop trying to swim against the tide of history and start all together to work on updating the system of international relations on a fair basis based on the Central coordinating role of the UN enshrined in its Charter,” said Lavrov.
The chatter, and only
Expected of the Minister and questions from the audience. Arguments about attributed to Russia’s intervention in the American elections already stuffed mouth.
On Friday U.S. authorities have formally charged 13 persons and three entities in Russia for alleged involvement in the intervention in the presidential election of 2016. While the US authorities themselves noted that these actions did not affect the outcome of the elections.
Western journalists could not ask Lavrov to the question of when presenting data charges. The correspondent of one of the publications said, “as to whether the Russian investments?”
“To publish anything – Lavrov said, responding to a failed provocation. – Until we see the facts, all the rest is chatter. Excuse me, for God’s sake, in not very diplomatic terms.”
Talk about different and important
Before the speech, Lavrov held in Munich a number of meetings with colleagues not only from other countries but from different regions of the world, allowing to discuss a wide range of issues and have demonstrated that conversations in the West about Russia’s isolation are not baseless.
A series of bilateral contacts has opened talks with the foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Kono, which discussed in particular the preparation of the visit to Russia in may, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “Our common goal is to successfully prepare the visit of Prime Minister of Japan in Russia, we will do everything to make it really efficient and effective”, – said Lavrov in an interview with Taro Kono. That, in turn, stressed that he intends, in cooperation with the Russian colleague to prepare the upcoming visit to the “many questions and many projects have moved forward.” The foreign Ministers also agreed to hold talks in Tokyo in March.
Sergey Lavrov talked with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, with whom he discussed problems in relations between Russia and NATO. The dialogue from the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine is especially hard with a scratch, much less held a meeting of the Council Russia – NATO, the last of which took place in October last year. Before meeting with the Russian Minister Stoltenberg stressed that “dialogue is particularly important when the relationship is difficult, as in this case.”
The situation in Syria and the Palestinian-Israeli settlement were the Central topics of the meeting of Lavrov with foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh shoukry. The Russian Minister noted that Moscow appreciated the efforts of Cairo in these areas. Shoukry has stressed the attitude of Egypt to the development of important relations with Russia.
Secretary General of the OSCE Thomas Greminger, the Russian Minister discussed issues of promoting the settlement of the conflict in the East of Ukraine, and also questions of European security. The problems of the United Nations and a number of topical international issues, Lavrov raised at a meeting with foreign Minister of Slovakia Miroslav Lajcak, who presides over the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.
Spoke the Minister and his counterpart from Moldova by Tudor on the left. Heads of departments discussed ways of overcoming of problematic issues in the relations between the two countries and called for continued efforts in the format of “five plus two” on the Transnistrian settlement. With the foreign Minister of Croatia Maria pejčinović Boric Lavrov discussed ways of development of relations between Moscow and Zagreb. The foreign Ministers expressed the hope that cooperation to fully develop and fill with new mutually beneficial initiatives.
Bilateral relations and regional issues were raised at the meeting with the President of the Greek party “New democracy” with Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Very comprehensive was the German part of the program of Lavrov in Munich. Saturday morning started with a Breakfast with representatives of business circles of Russia and Germany, which was held with the participation of the foreign Minister of Germany Sigmar Gabriel. Lavrov made for the fact that relations between the two countries was based on the fundamental interests of both, and assured that Moscow will continue to do everything to the business, including German, feel comfortable in Russia. The head of the Russian depodesta also noticed that gradually improving negative trend in trade between Russia and Germany: 2017 turnover grew by more than 20%.
Lavrov stressed that the main obstacle for increasing our business cooperation remains a “sanctions spiral, the pioneer of which is the United States.” According to him, now comes the realization of the abnormality of this situation. The Minister has noticed that the US wants to promote their economic interests, especially under the guise of deterrence of the Russian Federation.
The Minister also touched on the situation around the project of the pipeline “Nord stream – 2”, which makes the number of countries with acute rejection. He pointed out the obvious economic benefits of the project for European countries. “For those who tries to derail, it is important to recall that the route from Yamal to Germany for 2 thousand km shorter than the current pipe, which goes to Germany through Ukraine, the transit cost will also be almost two times less than the current. Therefore, the commercial, the economic benefit is obvious,” – said Lavrov.
The German foreign Minister in turn said that the Russian side adheres to the rules and requirements of the German regulators in the implementation of the “Nord stream – 2”. He noted that “no political goal is to tell companies where they should buy gas”. “The company will be better able to decide than politicians who to be their supplier,” – says Gabriel. At the same time, the German Minister said that Europe “has no right to put themselves at the mercy of a single vendor” and wants to maintain gas transit through the territory of Ukraine, and also to improve gas network in the EU.
The head of the German foreign Ministry assured that Berlin intends to contribute to the improvement of relations between Moscow and Brussels. “There are different points of view, but despite that, Russia is our big neighbor, the European”, – he said. Gabriel added that, although the economic cooperation between the two countries in recent years has improved, “the potential and possibilities much more.”
The Ministers continued the discussion of topical issues at a subsequent bilateral meeting. They talked about the implementation of the Minsk agreements and prospects of cooperation in the “channel format”, and also touched upon the issues of European security.
Meeting with Klimkin: to be continued?
An increased interest of the press called the talks with Lavrov, Minister for foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin, which is not surprising: the head of depodesta contact personally, to put it mildly, rare. Russia in Kiev continues to be considered the “aggressor” and accused of “occupation”.
The meeting lasted about an hour. When upon completion of the crowding at the doors of meeting rooms Russian journalists asked the foreign Minister of Ukraine about the results of the negotiations, Klimkin they did not respond.
The Russian foreign Ministry said that the Ministers discussed issues relating to domestic settlement and implementation of the Minsk agreements, and the role of the UN in Ukraine.
Klimkin, speaking with his press pool, said that at the last meeting, any agreement has not been achieved. “The debate we must continue,” added the Minister. However, he noted that the meeting was important “from a humanitarian point of view.” “Almost half of the meeting was devoted to the release, the second half of the UN mission,” he said.
In addition, according to klimkina, the parties discussed the possibility of the return of Russians to the Joint center for control and coordination in the Donbass.
The meeting, which was not
Since the establishment in June 2014, the “Normandy format” (Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany) the Munich forum has twice been the venue for the Ministerial meeting of the Quartet. Moreover, it was here in February last year, held its last meeting of the foreign Ministers of the four countries. Therefore, members of the media expected that the established tradition will not be broken, and Ministers will gather again in Munich, the more that information about the possibility of the negotiations began appearing in January.
In Moscow noted that the meeting is being worked out, but official confirmation was not made from any of the parties.
The intrigue remained. On the first day of the forum (February 16) closer to the evening began to receive messages on that channel four is not going to need the departure of the head of the German foreign Ministry in Berlin to participate in a press conference on the occasion of the release in Turkey of a German journalist Denise Judges. In the Russian delegation told reporters that his hand ready to meet. And the foreign Minister of Ukraine was very optimistic: “Tomorrow will determine the time, this is a purely logistical question, just the German delegation did not have time [for a meeting], but will definitely have time.”
However, Saturday morning is not encouraged, any signals about the coordination of time of negotiations has not been received. Answering a question of journalists, the Russian foreign Minister said that the Russian side has proposed several options, but “nothing is confirmed”. “Yesterday Klimkin all very thoroughly discussed, so I don’t know whether to collected or not. If the Germans are ready, we are also ready,” – said Lavrov.
However, as time went on, but the situation has not changed. Window nobody filled, as the Minister said, answering questions from the press. This time in Munich, although he provided the platform, but it did not.
During his speech, Sergei Lavrov recalled the words of the famous Russian historian Vasily Klyuchevsky that “history punishes for ignorance of lessons.” The head of the Russian depodesta drew attention to the fact that in Munich 80 years ago has concluded an agreement on the partition of Czechoslovakia, which became the prelude to world war II. “Later at the Nuremberg trials accused the leaders of the Third Reich in an attempt to justify the Munich agreement stated that its purpose was to oust Russia, – said the Minister. – The tragedy of Munich was reflected all the pain points of the era, including the belief in exceptionalism, disunity and mutual suspicion, the rate of building sanitary cordons and buffer zones, a blatant interference in the internal Affairs of other countries.”
“These memories are especially alarming, if you put them on the realities of today”, – said Lavrov. Both Western partners in diplomatic tasks, will have their next meeting in bilateral and multilateral formats in various venues.