55th Munich Security Conference expected to become world’s biggest

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivers a speech at the 2018 Munich Security Conference

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivers a speech at the 2018 Munich Security Conference


© Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP

MUNICH, February 15. /TASS/. The future of the European security architecture and the situation surrounding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty will dominate the agenda of the 55th Munich Security Conference to begin on Friday.

Organizers expect it to gather the record number of participants – about 600 politicians, experts, businessmen and human rights activists from all over the world are expected to join the debate. Over 35 heads of states and governments, about 50 foreign ministers and 30 defense ministers are expected to attend.

Russia has been taking part in the forum since late 1990s. From 2010, the Russian delegation is led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The only exception was in 2016, when Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev participated in the event.

The conference will be officially opened at 16:00 Moscow time by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her UK counterpart Gavin Williamson.

The event will be held in the luxury Bayerischer Hof hotel amid unprecedented security measures. The adjacent city districts will be cordoned off by police. Some 4,400 police officers will be on duty in the city to ensure public security as various anti-globalist and pacifist organizations have already scheduled their rallies.

During the next three days, the participants of the forum will discuss a wide range of issues that includes future of Europe’s defense policy, West-Russia relations, Ukrainian crisis, conflicts in the Middle East and Venezuela, the role of China in the world and many other matters.

Munich Security Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger said a meeting on Ukrainian reconciliation may be held on the sidelines of the event – either between Russia and Ukraine or in the Normandy Format (comprising Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France).

The Nord Stream-2 pipeline project, which has been a source of heated debates in Europe, is also likely to be discussed.

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