USA-Russia: prisoners exchange talks

Brussels 06.08.2022 Russia is ready to discuss the exchange of prisoners with the US, but only within the channel, negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden. If the Americans resort to public diplomacy, its’ “their problem,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to reporters Friday, August 5. (Image above: Viktor Bout)

The top diplomat said that Washington’s logic in the situation around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “strange,” and noted that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken displayed no interest in contacts with his Russian counterpart during the ASEAN events in Phnom Penh.

“If the Americans once again decide to resort to public diplomacy and to make loud announcements that they plan to take some steps, then that is their business, and I would even say, their problem. The Americans often do not comply with agreements on a quiet professional work on this and many other topics.”

Russia-Africa Summit announcement

Brussels 27.07.2022 Russia’s second-largest city of Saint Petersburg will host the 2023 Russia-Africa Summit, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson wrote on her Telegram channel on Wednesday, July 27.

“We are leaving the African continent under a heavy rain and this is a good sign,” she stated. “Thank you, friends, and we are waiting for you in Saint Petersburg next year at the Russia-Africa summit.”

The inaugural Russia-Africa summit was hosted by the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi in 2019. The summit was organised between October 22 and 24, 2019 and its slogan read as ‘For Peace, Security and Development.’

Within the framework of the African tour earlier this week, Foreign Minister Lavrov visited Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia between July 24 and 27.

The visit to Ethiopia on Wednesday July 27 was be the final stop in Lavrov’s African tour, after which the Russian top diplomat will travel to the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Uzbekistani capital of Tashkent.

The food crisis caused by the Ukraine conflict took the center stage during Lavrov’s previous negotiations and press conferences in African countries.

Lavrov plane refused air passage

Strasbourg 06.06.2022 The Russian delegation was scheduled to hold talks in Belgrade, while the EU and NATO member-countries have closed their airspace, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has confirmed that the countries bordering Serbia have closed their airspace to Minister Sergey Lavrov’s aircraft.

“The countries bordering Serbia have closed the only air route to the aircraft of Sergey Lavrov who was to depart for Serbia. The Russian delegation was scheduled to hold talks in Belgrade, while the EU and NATO member-countries have closed their airspace,” Zakharova said in an on-air broadcast of Italy’s La7 television channel late on Sunday.

Serbia’s daily Ve·ernje Novosti reported earlier that Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro had closed their airspace to Lavrov’s plane due to depart for Serbia.

Lavrov: Russian troops avoid civil infrasturcture

Brussels 29.05.2022 The timing of the Russian “special operation” in Ukraine is due to the order to categorically avoid strikes on civilian infrastructure, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the French TV channel TF1 on Sunday, May 29.
Earlier President Vladimir Putin said that the timing of the completion of the special military operation in Ukraine depends on the intensity of hostilities, and the Russian side will “act rhythmically, calmly, according to the plan that was originally proposed by the General Staff.”

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on the morning of Thursday, February 24, 2022. President Vladimir Putin said that its goal is “to protect citizens who have been subjected to abuse and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.”

The situation in Donbass is still tense, the Ukrainian military continues shelling from positions that are still under their control.

Meanwhile President Zelensky visited Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region.

Lavrov: West declared total war on Russia

Brusels 27.05.2022 The West has declared a total war on Russia and the Russian world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured) said on Friday, May 27.

“The West has declared a total war on us, on the Russian World. Nobody makes any secret of this,” Lavrov said at a meeting of the Council of the heads of Russia’s constituent territories at the Foreign Ministry.

Lavrov warned that the Western policy of “cancelling” Russia would continue for a long time.

“The culture of cancelling Russia and everything related with our country has reached a point of absurdity. Bans have been imposed on such classics as Tchaikovsky, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin. Persecution is underway against Russian culture and art workers. In general, one can be certain that this situation will last,” Lavrov said.

“We must realize that it has exposed the West’s real attitude to the beautiful slogans that were put forward 30 years ago after the end of the Cold War, the calls for universal humanitarian values, for building a common European home from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Now we can see the real worth of these fine words,” Lavrov said.

The top diplomat has underlined that Russia would certainly not agree to put up with these policies.

“In this situation there is a great demand for a concrete discussion on how we develop our cooperation, cooperation between our ministry and civil society, including at the level of regions,” he added.

Lavrov deplores West “total war” on Russia

Brussels 25.03.2022 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is facing a total war declared by the West.

Lavrov said at a meeting on Friday, March 22, that “a real hybrid war, total war was declared on us.” He added the goal was “to destroy, break, annihilate, strangle the Russian economy, and Russia on the whole.”

During the first month of what Russia describes as a “special military operation” in Ukraine, the West imposed a range of measures targeting Russia’s economy and financial system as well as President Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs individually.

Despite that, top diplomat insisted that as a result of this multitude of efforts Russia was not isolated.

“We have many friends, allies, partners in the world, a huge number of associations in which Russia is working with countries of all continents, and we will continue to do so,” Lavrov continued. The Minister is convinced that the vast majority of states won’t join the Western sanctions policy against Russia.

Russia and Ukraine top diplomats meet

Strasbourg 09.03.2022 Kiev has confirmed that a meeting between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov will take place on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in Turkey’s Antalya on Thursday, March 10, so Moscow expects that the meeting will indeed be held, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said to Russian journalists.(Image: Istanbul, Turkey).

“We believe that since Ukraine has confirmed it, the meeting will indeed take place, particularly because it was initiated by Turkey, the host of the event on the sidelines of which the meeting is expected to be held,” she pointed out.

Zakharova emphasized that Russia was making preparations for the talks but there was no need to rush things. She added that Lavrov’s flight to Antalya was scheduled for Wednesday March 9.

Lavrov and Kuleba are expected to meet on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in Antalya on March 10, the meeting will also involve Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” based on a request from the heads of the Donbass self-proclaimed Republics. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories and the goal of the operation was to “de-militarise and de-nazify” the Ukranian state.

Lavrov: AUKUS undermines ASEAN

Brussels 03.10.2021 New AUKUS alliance between the US, the UK, and Australia as well as the four-sided dialogue on security between the US, Japan, India, and Australia (Quad) are directed at eroding the long-standing universal formats of cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region existing under the auspices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the 29th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy on October 2, Saturday.

The Russian top diplomat noted, “one of the most fashionable trends today is the so-called Indo-Pacific strategies that are invented by the United States,” in particular, AUKUS and Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between United States, India, Japan and Australia).

“All of this follows the line of eroding the universal formats in the Asia-Pacific Region which existed for the past decades under the auspices of ASEAN,” Lavrov underlined.

The minister named “East Asian summits, the ASEAN security forum, meetings of ASEAN defense ministers and partners, the so-called ASEAN+, and a number of other formats” based on the “principle of consensus” among such universal formats.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has previously questioned whether the EU would be able to strike a trade deal with Australia, in solidarity with France.

But on Friday, September 1, spokespersons for the European Commission explained than it is not “punishing anybody”. The decision to delay the talks by a month took place a couple of days ago and would “allow us to prepare better”, they said, adding that it was not “unusual” to push back trade talks.

US-Russia meeting in Reykjavik

Brussels 13.05.2021 Russian Foreign Minister and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the timeline of bilateral Russia-US contacts by phone Wednesday, May 12, including the proposed highest-level Russia-US Summit, and agreed to hold a separate meeting during the Arctic Council ministerial session in Reykjavik.

“The sides discussed the timeline of other Russian-US contacts for the upcoming period, including Washington’s proposal on the organization of the Russia-US summit,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

The sides also touched upon the interaction between the two countries in the Arctic Council – in particular, in regards to the upcoming Russian presidency in the organisation, which will begin on May 20.

“Lavrov and Blinken agreed to hold a separate meeting on the sidelines of the [May 20] session to review key issues of bilateral relations and the international agenda,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Lavrov birthday and birth of Politburo II

Anna van Densky OPINION Amid coronavirus pandemic drama a few noticed a remarkable milestone date, defining the future of Russian Federation for next couple of decades: the birth of the second grand “Politburo” with life-long members. (Image above: Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov).

On March 21 Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia became de facto a “member of Politburo” to stay most probably as long as one of his great predecessors – Andrey Gromyko who led Soviet diplomacy for 28 years (1957-1985). This perspective is especially real in the context of change of Russian Constitution, breaking the time limits for Vladimir Putin to become life-long President.

Before crushing Russian Constitution to dust to establish dictatorship, rooted in methodically consturcted “cult of personality” during last 20 years, Vladimir Putin signed Federal Law No. 143-FZ of May 23, 2016, which provided for a phased increase in the old-age retirement for people who fill government positions in the Russian Federation and positions in constituent entities, as well as those who hold state and municipal services.

The age limit for civil service became 65 years. Previously this age level was 60 years old (Part 1 of Article 25.1 of the Federal Law of July 27, 2004 No. 79-FZ “On the State Civil Service of the Russian Federation”).

Extension of the service remains possible, but only for civil servants filling the posts of the category “assistants (advisers)”, established to assist the person filling the public position. The term of extension will not change for them – until the end of the term of office. But the rest of the civil servants, who can be extended to 65 years today, will lose the possibility of further extension.

For the top figures of public service the term can be extended to 70 years. But for them, the procedure for agreeing on such an extension has changed. Before the signature of the law it was decided by the President, then after the amendments enter into force, further service by such persons should be extended by the Federal state body that appointed them to the position or by the corresponding official.

The new rules came into effect on January 1, 2017, however Minister Lavrov has successfully ignored them to stay “forever” top diplomat of Russian Federation, illustrating the predominant culture of contempt to laws, that is so typical for post-Soviet period. None of the official instances clarified the legal basis for the permission to Lavrov to stay beyond legally established age.

However this episode facilites the shaping of Western policies vis-à-vis Russia, returning to the déjà vu pattern of Soviet era of Brezhnev stagnation, ending in biological change of power after him and his Politburo passing away.

Nowadays with the significant achievments of medicine visible on example of “eternal‘ President of Cameroon Paul Biya (87), Putin and his “Politburo” reign togehter with the five year period of Politburoostentatious” funerals can last easerly up to 2040, until Death do us part. Amen!