Category: Foreign Policy

Russia open for talks with US on New START extension, says foreign minister

Russia open for talks with US on New START extension, says foreign minister

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © EPA-EFE/RONALD WITTEK MUNICH, February 16. /TASS/. Moscow reiterates the readiness to negotiate the extension of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which expires in two years, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. “President (of Russia Vladimir) Putin has repeatedly said that we are ready to launch the talks on extension of the New START. It only expires in 2021, though time flies fast, and we have suggested to the US that such discussions be launched, considering the necessity to clear up certain issues that we are worried about,” he said. The minister…

Read More »
Russia not against EU’s initiatives on maintaining stability in Black Sea, says Lavrov

Russia not against EU’s initiatives on maintaining stability in Black Sea, says Lavrov

MUNICH, February 16. /TASS/. Moscow has no issue with the initiatives of the European Union (EU) on maintaining stability in the Black Sea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, adding though that Brussels should respect regional structures. “As for security concerns in the Black Sea, the European Union has many regional initiatives regarding the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, Central Asia, and we have no issue with them. We only ask to respect the structures that already exist in various regions,” he said. According to Lavrov, the Black Sea littoral countries have set up two mechanisms – the…

Read More »
No evidence of Russia’s meddling in Macedonian affairs has been shown, says Lavrov

No evidence of Russia’s meddling in Macedonian affairs has been shown, says Lavrov

MUNICH, February 16. /TASS/. No evidence of Russia’s meddling in the matter of renaming Macedonia has been shown, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. “We have been accused on meddling in the issue of renaming Macedonia, though no facts have been shown to us,” he said. The agreement on changing the country’s name to the Republic of Northern Macedonia (the Prespa agreement) was signed on the shores of Lake Prespa by the foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece on June 17, 2018. The ratification of the document marked the end of the dispute between Macedonia and Greece over…

Read More »
US aimed at promoting own interests mindless of consequences for others, says Ryabkov

US aimed at promoting own interests mindless of consequences for others, says Ryabkov

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov © Sergei Fadeichev/TASS MUNICH, February 16. /TASS/. Washington is aimed at promoting its own interests mindless of the consequences for global security, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters following the speech of US Vice President Michael Pence at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. “The end of the speech makes it clear that the US side is aimed at pursuing its agenda, mindless of any expenses, any devastating consequences for the global security system,” he said. According to Ryabkov, Pence’s words mean that the US is proud of expelling Russian diplomats due to the Skripal case. “When assuming…

Read More »
Russian, South Korean top diplomats agree to coordinate activities

Russian, South Korean top diplomats agree to coordinate activities

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Alexander Scherbak/TASS MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has held a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha on the sidelines of the 55th Munich Security Council on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The parties exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula and confirmed their determination to boost positive trends in order to peacefully resolve regional issues through political and diplomatic means and in close coordination with all involved countries,” the statement reads. The two top diplomats also discussed bilateral relations “in light of agreements reached at the Russia-South Korea…

Read More »
Lavrov discusses US withdrawal from INF Treaty with Dutch foreign minister

Lavrov discusses US withdrawal from INF Treaty with Dutch foreign minister

MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok have discussed US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on the sidelines of 2019 Munich Security Conference, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday. “The ministers discussed the situation around the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the situation in Ukraine, as well as some aspects of bilateral relations,” the foreign ministry said. On February 1 US President Donald Trump and State Secretary Michael Pompeo announced that Washington suspends its participation in the INF Treaty starting on February 2 and will withdraw from the Treaty…

Read More »
Russia ready for cooperation with US on basis of equality — national Security Council

Russia ready for cooperation with US on basis of equality — national Security Council

MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. Moscow intends to continue cooperation with its international partners, including Washington, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily, adding that cooperation should be based on the principles of equality and reciprocity. “We intend to continue working together with our partners, particularly within the United Nations, the SCO [the Shanghai Cooperation Organization], BRICS and other international organizations,” he said. “It also concerns the United States, granted that the principles of equality and reciprocity are respected,” Patrushev added. The Russian Security Council secretary reaffirmed the country’s commitment to international law and respect for the sovereignty…

Read More »
West’s desire to dominate caused troubles for entire humanity — Russian diplomat

West’s desire to dominate caused troubles for entire humanity — Russian diplomat

MUNICH, February 15. /TASS/. The Western powers’ desire to dominate in the global politics has caused troubles for the entire humanty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters in the run-up to the Munich Security Conference. The senior Russian diplomat said the Russian side had examined a document, which the forum’s organizers prepared for its opening. According to Ryabkov, the document says that the “the era of rivalry of superpowers is now upon us, and that the US and the Western group of nations have the upper hand over the group which includes China, Russia and so on.” “It seems to me that this…

Read More »
Russian senior diplomat holds talks with Palestinian politicians

Russian senior diplomat holds talks with Palestinian politicians

Russian Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov © Valery Sharifulin/TASS MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Russian Presidential Special Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov held talks on the Middle East settlement with Secretary General of the Palestinian Democratic Union Zahira Kamal and her deputy Saleh Ra’fat, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. The participants “confirmed the need to overcome intra-Palestinian disagreements on the PLO platform and the Arab peace initiative as soon as possible in order to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

Read More »
US still interested in cultural exchanges with Moscow, says Putin’s envoy

US still interested in cultural exchanges with Moscow, says Putin’s envoy

© Marina Lystseva/TASS WASHINGTON, February 12. /TASS/. The United States still wants to offer a large number of US citizens the opportunity to visit Russia for research and educational purposes, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi told TASS following a Washington meeting with US State Department officials responsible for relations with Russia and Europe, as well as for legal issues. According to Svydkoi, the parties discussed cultural cooperation, including museum exchanges. In his view, the US is still interested in cultural exchanges with Russia. “The Americans have expressed their interest in providing a large number of US citizens with the opportunity to…

Read More »
Lavrov praises Moscow-Helsinki dialogue

Lavrov praises Moscow-Helsinki dialogue

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Relations between Russia and Finland are developing well despite hurdles in dialogue with the European Union over sanctions obsession of some member-states, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Timo Soini on Tuesday. “Our relations have been developing well despite the well-known difficulties in relations between Russia and the European Union over the sanctions obsession of some EU member-states,” Lavrov said. “Nevertheless, we see that at all levels there is mutual interest to foster ties between the presidents, the heads of governments, parliaments, regions and representatives of the public.” According to Lavrov, Russia and Finland…

Read More »
No plans for Putin-Trump meeting — Kremlin

No plans for Putin-Trump meeting — Kremlin

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov © Vitaliy Nevar/TASS MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. A meeting between Russian and US Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, is not being discussed now, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday. Earlier, the US leader made a decision to cancel his meeting with Putin, which had been scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Peskov said. “Therefore, in this case [Moscow] has nothing more to initiate here. The ball is in Washington’s court,” he said, answering a question if Russia plans to initiate new talks between the two leaders. When asked if the US has…

Read More »
Kremlin: Still no US proposals on new INF Treaty

Kremlin: Still no US proposals on new INF Treaty

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The Kremlin has still not received any offers from Washington on changes to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “It is all just bogus stories spread by the media [about a new version of the INF Treaty], and it isn’t going beyond that,” Peskov said in response to a TASS question. “We haven’t received any proposals from the Americans so far. And as Putin said, we have armed ourselves with patience and now we will wait for our partners to conclude that they are ready for something meaningful,” the Kremlin spokesman noted. “You know the…

Read More »
Russian, US envoys for Afghanistan to meet on February 22

Russian, US envoys for Afghanistan to meet on February 22

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan and Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asia Department Zamir Kabulov will hold a meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in the Turkish capital of Ankara on February 22, as he himself said. “The meeting will take place in Ankara on February 22,” he said in response to a TASS question. According to Kabulov, the parties will particularly discuss preparations for the next round of the Moscow consultations on Afghanistan. The Russian presidential envoy added that he would also hold consultations on the Afghan issue with Turkish diplomats during his…

Read More »
US tries to intervene in pre-election situation in Moldova — Foreign Ministry

US tries to intervene in pre-election situation in Moldova — Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The United States has been trying to intervene in Moldova’s internal affairs ahead of the February 24 parliamentary elections, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Tuesday. “Interference in the internal affairs of other countries has long become a familiar feature of Washington’s foreign policy. This is seen particularly well in Venezuela, where the United States in fact is trying to stage a government coup. Its occupation of part of Syrian territory after unsuccessful attempts to topple a legitimate government in Damascus belongs here, too. Apparently, a similar scenario is being prepared for Moldova,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.…

Read More »
Next Russia-US consultations on New START due in April — diplomat

Next Russia-US consultations on New START due in April — diplomat

PARIS, February 12./TASS/. A new meeting of the Russian-US commission on the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) will take place in April, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told journalists on Tuesday. “A next meeting will be in April,” he confirmed. The New START treaty, which came into force in 2011, gives the parties seven years to reduce their weapons. The document limits each side to no more than 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, no more than 1,550 deployed warheads and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers. The Treaty is set to remain in effect for ten years…

Read More »
Russia interested in joining Venezuela contact group — diplomat

Russia interested in joining Venezuela contact group — diplomat

PARIS, February 12./TASS/. Moscow is raising the issue of joining the International Contact Group on Venezuela “at least” as an observer, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told journalists on Tuesday. “We raised the issue before the organizers of a conference in Montevideo from the very start,” he said. “We are interested in Russia’s joining it at least as an observer,” the senior diplomat added. According to Ryabkov, recent contacts in Montevideo within the framework of a Mexico-Uruguay initiative to set up a contact group with the participation of the EU and some Latin American countries were not backed unanimously by the international community. “Forces have…

Read More »
Russia, US top diplomats discuss Venezuela, Syria, anti-Russian sanctions

Russia, US top diplomats discuss Venezuela, Syria, anti-Russian sanctions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Aleksandr Shcherbak/TASS MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo have held a phone conversation on the US side’s initiative to discuss the situation in Venezuela, Syria and anti-Russian sanctions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. “In connection with the US secretary of state’s previously announced intention to impose additional sanctions on Russia under the absolutely unsubstantiated pretext of last year’s murky case of the Salisbury ‘poisoning’ of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who have since been out of the public’s eye, Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov stressed that this unjustified…

Read More »
Overcoming negative dynamic in Russian-US relations remains priority task — ambassador

Overcoming negative dynamic in Russian-US relations remains priority task — ambassador

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS WASHINGTON, February 12. /TASS/. Overcoming negative dynamic in Russian-US relations remains a priority task, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Monday. “The most important task is to overcome negative dynamic in the relations with the United States. As largest nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility for strategic stability. The level of cooperation between our countries has a direct effect on the world, security, opportunities for development and progress,” Antonov told said at a reception at the Russian Embassy devoted to the Diplomats’ Day. The ambassador noted that it is necessary to “respond appropriately to major challenges.” “Among them are…

Read More »
Russian Embassy says UK defense secretary’s statements on Russia “short-sighted”

Russian Embassy says UK defense secretary’s statements on Russia “short-sighted”

LONDON, February 11. /TASS/. The United Kingdom’s aspiration to demonstrate force while promoting British interests is a flawed and short-sighted position which only further undermines UK’s authority on the international arena, the Russian Embassy in London said on Monday commenting on recent statements made by UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson. “We are concerned with the general militaristic tone of the defense secretary’s speech. It is notewirthy that intentions to ‘demonstrate force’, to ‘increase the lethal potential of armed forces’ are not linked to tasks of ensuring Great Britain’s security. This is about relying on military force when promoting British interests in the world. We are…

Read More »
Russian diplomat discusses Syria’s constitutional committee with Syrian opposition member

Russian diplomat discusses Syria’s constitutional committee with Syrian opposition member

Russian Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov © Valery Sharifulin/TASS MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. Russian presidential envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has met with representative of Syria’s “National Front for Change and Liberation,” head of the Syrian opposition’s “Moscow platform” Qadri Jamil to discuss the formation of Syria’s constitutional committee, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday. “Over the course of the conversation, the sides exchanged opinions on issues of promoting political settlement in Syria. Special attention was paid to the task of soonest completion of the process of forming a constitutional…

Read More »
Russian-US cooperation in science, culture may decrease political tensions — ambassador

Russian-US cooperation in science, culture may decrease political tensions — ambassador

WASHINGTON, February 9. /TASS/. Cooperation between Russia and the US in the sphere of science and culture may play its role in descreasing political tensions in bilateral relations, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told TASS in an interview ahead of the Diplomats’ Day. “Of course, not all aspects of bilateral cooperation were destroyed by Russophobes. There are also positive examples. This concerns cooperation in the Arctic, space exploration, scientific projects, cultural exchanges, partnerships between universities, regional ties,” Antonov said. “Such contacts may help to descrease political tensions,” he added. The ambassador noted that Russia continues to put forward initiatives in its dialogue with…

Read More »
US aims at breaking down global architecture of arms control — Russian ambassador

US aims at breaking down global architecture of arms control — Russian ambassador

WASHINGTON, February 9. /TASS/. The United States aims at breaking down the existing architecture of arms control while pursuing an illusory goal of achieving global military dominance, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said commenting the situation around the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. “The US aims at breaking down the architecture of arms control which has been built for many years between our two countries,” Antonov told TASS in an interview ahead of the Diplomats’ Day. “We see in this an attempt to create room for themselves to pursue the illusory idea to achieve global military dominance,” he added. “It needs to be…

Read More »
Macedonia’s accession to NATO bodes no good – Russia’s envoy

Macedonia’s accession to NATO bodes no good – Russia’s envoy

MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. Macedonia’s accession to NATO along with bellicose rhetoric coming from some NATO states does not look very promising, Russia’s Ambassador to Skopje Sergei Bazdnikin said in an interview with TASS. “Russia’s stance on NATO enlargement, including in the Balkans, is known far too well. In spite of all assurances that the process is not aimed against our country, the deeds denote the opposite, and the alliance’s military infrastructure is coming closer to our borders, and it [NATO] officially views Russia as the main adversary,” Bazdnikin said. “Accompanied by NATO hawks’ bellicose and more aggressive rhetoric – as they are setting the…

Read More »
Putin focuses on bilateral relations at talks with Kyrgyz president in Sochi

Putin focuses on bilateral relations at talks with Kyrgyz president in Sochi

Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin © Mikhail Metzel/TASS MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. At an informal meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed bilateral and regional issues with his Kyrgyz counterpart Sooronbai Jeenbekov, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “The heads of state discussed in detail the development of bilateral relations and shared views on some regional issues,” he said. “Besides, [they] touched upon preparations for the future spring visit of Russia’s president to Kyrgyzstan,” Peskov added.

Read More »
Moscow not planning to give away helicopters to Afghanistan free of charge, says diplomat

Moscow not planning to give away helicopters to Afghanistan free of charge, says diplomat

Mi-17 helicopter © Marina Lystseva/TASS MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Moscow has no intention of providing helicopters to Afghanistan for free, Russian Presidential Representative for Afghanistan and Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department, Zamir Kabulov, told TASS in an interview. “The current leadership of Afghanistan is behaving in Russian-Afghan relations in such a way that we have no wish at all,” Kabulov said. “It is utterly unreasonable for an unfriendly president to demand gifts from us. They are not asking for something trifle. What they are asking for is necessary for the Russian military and costs a lot.” Asked about Washington’s refusal to help Afghanistan purchase aircraft…

Read More »
Astana-hosted Syrian peace guarantors’ summit set for March — Russian Foreign Ministry

Astana-hosted Syrian peace guarantors’ summit set for March — Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. A high-level meeting on Syria will take place in the Kazakh capital of Astana a month after the next summit of the Astana trio (Russia, Iran and Turkey), scheduled to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on February 14, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin told reporters. “There will be an Astana meeting after the Sochi summit,” he said. “I believe we will gather for a high-level meeting in Astana in a little more than a month, starting from March, in order to work on the implementation of agreements that will be made in Sochi,” the senior…

Read More »
Astana to host high-level meeting on Syria in March — Russian Foreign Ministry

Astana to host high-level meeting on Syria in March — Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. A high-level meeting on Syria will take place in the Kazakh capital of Astana a month after the next summit of the Astana trio (Russia, Iran and Turkey), scheduled to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on February 14, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin told reporters. “There will be an Astana meeting after the Sochi summit,” he said. “I believe we will gather for a high-level meeting in Astana in a little more than a month, starting from March, in order to work on the implementation of agreements that will be made in Sochi,” the senior…

Read More »
Russian Security Council slams West’s hybrid threats as global instability factor

Russian Security Council slams West’s hybrid threats as global instability factor

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. The West’s use of hybrid threats is a factor for global instability, members of the Russian Security Council’s Research Board pointed out at a meeting dedicated to global issues and international security. According to the Council’s press service, the meeting’s participants “emphasized that a number of Western states use hybrid threats to create instability in other countries, which is a strong destabilizing factor for the entire international community.” Ways to protect national sovereignty and ensure sustainable social and economic development amid increasing hybrid threats were also discussed at the meeting.

Read More »
Russian, Iranian, Turkish foreign ministers may hold meeting on February 14

Russian, Iranian, Turkish foreign ministers may hold meeting on February 14

MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. The Russian, Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers may hold a separate meeting on the sidelines of the summit in the Astana format in Sochi, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday. “On February 14, a regular summit in the Astana format will be held in Sochi,” she said. “In light of this, I do not rule out contacts between the Russian, Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers.”

Read More »