Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov (born 21 March 1950) is a Russian Armenian diplomat who has been the Foreign Minister of Russia since 2004. Apart from this, he is also known for his strong stance against the foreign military intervention against Syria, and Libya during the civil war. He has also opposed the sanctions of Syria, Iran, North Korea.
- Well I believe all participants of the six party talks should use their bilateral channels to send necessary messages to North Koreans. Some of us like China and Russia have more channels if you wish. Japan and South Korea have their own. And the United States could also help by stating their strong commitment to the negotiating process, to the six party talks, and I am glad that that's what we hear from Washington in response to the North Korean announcement.
- I am very pleased to be here in Israel, the land of our friends, friends who are going through a complex period like their neighbors. We are convinced that the efforts of all countries and governments in the region will find a way to reach peace and long-term security. I have arrived here after visiting Beirut and Damascus and I want to tell the Prime Minister and all other ministers that today, everyone wants peace more than ever, peace and security.
Now, the preferred position is that of those who do not want to live amidst endless arguments about who was right first and last. Everybody wants to sit around the negotiating table. Everyone aspires to reach decisions that will be acceptable to all and certainly to Israel. We always point out the Russian Federation’s full agreement that the State of Israel has the full right to peace and security. We are convinced that that there is no other way to resolve this problem except through peace.
We are certain that UN Security Council Resolution #1701, that we all worked on together, will be carried out in full by all sides. We think that the abductees should be released as soon as possible and we are also convinced that the military blockade of Lebanon must be lifted and that the Lebanese army needs to deploy in southern Lebanon in order to facilitate the Israeli army’s withdrawal as quickly as possible. But we are convinced that peace is attainable only if an international conference - with the participation of all sides - convenes. Lastly, I would like to point out that we are very much looking forward to the Prime Minister’s visit to Moscow in order to discuss bilateral relations.
- As to the second question about Gabala Radar Station, I think that you are under the influence of what was previously customary to call "western propaganda." As Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said in public, which was reconfirmed during his preliminary consultations with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, we perceive no threat from Iran. We do not understand why to justify construction of elements of a US missile defense system in Europe they should be using a thesis about a threat from Iran. We have repeatedly adduced facts, assessments, and professional estimates showing that there is no such threat, which President Putin particularly emphasized. If the American side has suspicions about the presence of any such threat, they can easily be removed by the real-time use of information from Gabala Radar Station. Today I told my friend and colleague, Mr. Mottaki, as well as the President of Iran, Mr. Ahmadinejad, about this. My firm impression is that our explanation was received with full understanding.
- There was an attack on our citizens in South Ossetia since most people had a Russian passport and thus Russian citizenship.
- Ha! I’ve heard about these reports. I think it’s another provocation, coming just before NATO war games on Georgian territory that were in complete disregard of Russia’s warnings. If this is aimed at drawing other participants of the war games into the conflict — prompted by statements from the Georgian government — then this only proves that we were 100% right when we warned those taking part in the war games not to do so as it will lead heighten tensions sharply.
- Instead of the negative and relative stability of Cold War times, we all need positive stability based on collective interaction, an indifferently correct neighborhood is impossible on our continent. The principle of indivisibility of European security should be legally binding, relations between the US, Europe and Russia need a qualitatively new interaction that could help solve common and global challenges.
- We believe that the coalition's intervention in the civil war in Libya has not, essentially, been sanctioned by the UN Security Council resolution, its only purpose is to ensure the protection of the civilian population.
- We think that additional steps, including the cancellation of the no-fly zone, should be taken.
- Members of the international community, first of all our Western partners, have chosen the path of supporting one of the sides in the civil war – probably the party that represented the Libyan people's legitimate aspirations, but this still increased the number of casualties among the civilian population.
- It is no accident that the Office of UN High Commissioner on Human Rights stated today that all circumstances of his (Gaddafi's) death must be investigated and I fully agree that such an investigation will be conducted.
- If something goes wrong in Syria, many countries of the region will feel a negative impact. We can’t support isolation because of the lesson we drew from Libya.
- We believe this would be a huge mistake and we hope that this would never happen.
- As the Libyan experience has shown, sadly, a military scenario is possible. We won’t allow any more such disingenuous interpretations. We will see to it that no resolution is open to interpretation like the one on Libya.
- Absolutely no evidence.
- We discussed this issue. We welcome steps Pakistan and India have taken on confidence-building measures. Both countries are capable of settling their issues on their own without any foreign assistance
- We are concerned about what the US and its closest allies are doing with respect to Venezuela, brazenly violating all imaginable norms of international law and actually openly pursuing the policy aimed at overthrowing the legitimate government in that Latin American country... US companies operating in Venezuela are exempt from these sanctions. In other words, they wish to topple the government and derive material gains from this... According to our sources, the leaders of the opposition movement who have declared ‘dual power’ are in fact receiving instructions from Washington not to make any concessions until the authorities agree to abdicate in some way. Together with other responsible members of the international community, we will do everything to support President Maduro’s legitimate government in upholding the Venezuelan constitution and employing methods to resolve the crisis that are within the constitutional framework...
Given signals coming from the EU and... Caribbean countries, as well as...China and India... we would like to figure out what the international community could do to prevent another blatant violation of international law and violent regime change... This is what I discussed yesterday with the Iranian foreign minister, who - just like us - wants to find an opportunity for external players to prove themselves useful to the Venezuelan people.
- Quoted in US policy aimed at toppling Venezuela’s government, Tass (29 January 2019)
- What do they mean by insolent remarks that the countries external to the Western Hemisphere are not allowed to have any interests there?... Take a look at the map of the U.S. military bases—the whole world is dotted with red spots and each of them poses rather serious risks.
News conference following the 25th OSCE Ministerial Council, Milan, Italy (7 December 2018)
- We see that our colleagues from the NATO countries are pursuing a policy of containing Russia, increasing their military activity on our borders, creating a military infrastructure on the “eastern front”, as they say, and resorting to unsubstantiated accusations instead of diplomatic methods...
- It is also alarming that our Western colleagues use the term “international law” less and less often. Instead, they talk more about a rules-based order... something they can invent themselves... We urge our colleagues to comply with the agreements reached within the framework of international law.
- Several years ago, the United States started accusing Russia of violating the INF Treaty, without providing any evidence. We basically had to pry the information from the US, information that would help us understand... what they meant. The US eventually mentioned the 9M729 missile, claiming that it had been tested on certain days at a certain testing site, and that the range violated the treaty’s provisions. Our data concerning these tests showed the opposite. The missile’s range is allowed under the treaty.
- NATO foreign ministers met several days ago to support the US position. According to media reports, they did this after Washington presented certain irrefutable documents confirming that the treaty was violated. If this is so, we have not received any such documents from the US side. This is what we have been asking the US to do for a long time. We are still ready for a serious and professional discussion. Instead, the Americans resort to unfounded accusations, and again and again, from high rostrums, make allegations for the entire international community to hear about things that should first be clarified with the other party to the treaty. This would be a more appropriate, polite and correct approach.
- When we are accused...Every time a problem occurs, we ask very specific questions. For example, the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in Ukrainian airspace in July 2014. Where is the data from the Ukrainian radars? We provided our data. Where are the records of what the Ukrainian dispatchers said? No answer. Where is the data from American satellites that surely exists? No answer again. The questions are very specific. So in the case of Salisbury, where are the Skripals? There is no room for “highly likely” here. There can only be two answers here: yes or no, alive or not. Therefore, it is very difficult...
The INF & START Treaties
- We have come up with proposals that we have repeatedly made available to the United States, including in Helsinki, when President Putin met with President Trump. I myself presented one such proposal to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We re-submitted our proposals during a visit by US National Security Adviser John Bolton to Moscow in August and later in October, when he was in Moscow again. These proposals are about starting a serious, candid and professional dialogue on the INF Treaty, compliance with the START Treaty, and a number of other proposals regarding our approaches to strategic stability. We got nothing in response from the US partners. We occasionally remind them about it. They keep saying that we need to correct our mistakes and stop the violations.
- The people I met with yesterday, including German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, expressed concern about this situation. If they are concerned, they should talk to their ally, the United States, and have the US sit down and talk substantively, rather than accuse us without any grounds from across the ocean. We are ready for such a dialogue and suggested considering the INF Treaty at the Russia-NATO Council. In response, our NATO colleagues completely blocked all communication channels between the Russian and NATO military...
- In 2014, our Western colleagues “swallowed” the anti-constitutional armed coup in Ukraine, and since then they’ve been unable to hold that government accountable, although they have long since understood who they are dealing with. Having once branded them democrats and partners, they cannot publicly criticise them now. That's the problem.
- President Poroshenko and his regime enjoy impunity and plan provocations like the one that occurred at the entrance to the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea. Literally a day after this blatant provocation, the text of the order...was found on one of the boats... It said that the boats should covertly, without requesting authorisation of the Russian authorities...Why?...There may only be one answer: they wanted to provoke a scandal.
- A day after that, President Poroshenko declared martial law, and three days later the US declared that they need to increase their military presence in the Black Sea.... an incident was inflated into a scandal... used to shore up the absolutely groundless hopes of the incumbent president of Ukraine... in line with the US plans to build up its military presence near our shores. If you follow the logic of “who stands to gain?” you can draw your own conclusions.
Quotes about Sergey Lavrov
- Unfortunately, it is a classical step, when an occupant state is trying to make legitimate its unlawful decision. It is an attempt, which will remain unsuccessful.
- Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia, Nino Kalandadze, commenting on Lavrov's visit to Abkhazia.