Lavrov reflects upon Russia-NATO relations

Brussels 27.12.2021 Anna van Densky There is no way that Russia joins NATO, since the West does not want to have rivals comparable in influence at the global stage, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Solovyov Live YouTube channel on Monday,December 27. (Image: illustration).

Reflecting the question about the possibility of joining NATO on certain conditions, on an equal footing, the diplomat said that he did not assume such an opportunity for Russian Federation.

“I do not consider this possible, as the whole process does not revolve around NATO or the EU, it is about the West’s unwillingness to have any competitors in the international arena that are in the slightest degree comparable in terms of influence,” Lavrov explained.

According to the Minister, such attitude of the Western states derives their “hysteria over the rise of China”, which agreed to the rule introduced in the global economy and “outplayed the West on its own field”.

Russia-Turkey: Chechen war memory clash

Brussels 22.12.2021 Kremlin has conveyed its disapproval to Ankara via diplomatic channels over an attributing a name of Dzhokhar Dudayev, the leader of Chechen separatists, to one of the city parks, the spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday, December 22. (Image: Caucasus, illustration)

“We have already notified our Turkish colleagues via diplomatic channels that we, to put it mildly, do not approve of such names in Turkish cities,” he said.

The Kremlin official also said that the reaction of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to this event was quite understandable. “This is a very emotional yet understandable reaction of the head of a Russian region who suvived several wars, several wars that were provoked, started by terrorists who attempted to take control over that Russian region,” he said. Putin’s press secretary reiterated that “one of the terrorists who did it was at some point their leader Dudayev.”

“Recently, unfortunately, in one of Turkey’s regions one of the parks was named after this terrorist. Of course, this is a very painful decision for all Chechens, for the Republic of Chechnya within the Russian Federation,” the spokesman asserted. Therefore, in his opinion “such an emotional reaction is quite understandable.”

On December 21, Kadyrov addressed the Russian Foreign Ministry asking to respond to the actions of Turkish authorities. The Chechen leader also urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to determine whether he supports “transparent and honest relations with the Russian Federation.” According to the Chechen leader, the current actions by the Turkish authorities are a direct threat to Turkish-Russian relations, they should be noticed and preventive diplomatic measures should be taken.

Earlier, media outlets reported that a park was opened in Korfez, a town in Turkey’s north-west, named after Dudayev, the president of the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria who led an armed resistance after federal troops were deployed to the region in 1994. He was neutralised in a special operation in 1996.

Russia construction ambitions in Greece

Brussels 11.12.2021 In a very unusual format the spokesperson of Kremlin gave an interview to a Greek TV Channel, acting like a diplomat.
Dmitry Peskov said Russia is interested in implementing megaprojects in Greece much like it does in Turkey, while talking to an English-language interview with the Greek Antenna TV channel. The conversation took place before the December 8 meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Sochi. The full interview was issued on Saturday, December 11.

The Kremlin official said that Russia is interested in expanding economic cooperation with Greece. “We have lots and lots of Russian companies who are ready to invest in Greek economy. We are interested in implementing huge, mega projects like we do it in Turkey. Of course, it is not that every project is allowed [in Greece], for example, we are building a nuclear station in Akkuyu in Turkey, but, unfortunately, nuclear energy is forbidden in Greece,” he explained.

Peskov said that Russia holds the decisive role of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in high esteem. “He is the type of man that is being appreciated by President Putin because when President Erdogan said something he meant it and he did it. This is important.”

As for the differences between Russia and Turkey on a number of issues, the Kremlin official said that “it’s impossible not to have them,” pointing out that in Syria, the two countries used to have quite tense moments where their interests were colliding in several spheres. “But every time the two presidents found it possible to come together, to sit for five, six, seven hours and not going in front of the press without reaching a solution. Every time they managed to do it,” the spokesman noted.

In response to a question as to whom Russia would support in case of an armed incident in the Aegean Sea, the Kremlin official said that “the last thing we would like to see in the Aegean or in the Mediterranean Sea is us being closer to a conflict. We were very worried in August of 2020 when there was a collision between the ships of two countries,” stressing that it is desirable to avoid any repetition of similar incidents in the future. According to him, Russia would like to support the resolution of issues between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea. “We would like to support a solution,” he said, noting that Russia would like to see both sides proceed taking the reality into account “because every solution is a two-way street, with the reciprocal wish to reach the solution.”

In response to a question whether Greece may expect Russia’s full support against Turkey’s actions in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, the Kremlin official said that Turkey insisted that the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and Greece’s demands to establish the internationally recognized width of the continental shelf of inhabited islands in the Aegean Sea as well as the scale of the exclusive economic zone would definitely harm Turkey’s national interests and deprive it of its right to use the natural resources of the region. “So, we call for both sides to be calm and to be reasonable in solving the problem,” Putin’s press secretary concluded.