RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #105
Vladimir Putin: It is good to see a record number of participants this year. This means that the forum is gaining in popularity. It has attracted 10,500 participants, over 200 companies from 80 countries.
We are confident that this interest is based on a desire to cooperate and to build up trust, which serves to boost the technical and technological progress of the fuel and energy sector and to ensure the world’s energy and environmental security.
<…>Russia remains a responsible party to the OPEC+ deal. We are convinced that cooperation will continue to develop. I am referring not only to oil production volumes but also to close cooperation in the introduction of new hydrocarbon production, processing and transportation technologies and the resolution of environmental issues.
Analysts believe that energy consumption will be growing in the next few years, primarily in the countries of the Asia-Pacific Region and in the traditional markets, such as Europe.
Reliability and predictability of supply are most important in this respect. It is necessary to follow rules that are free of politically tainted and dishonest competition where restrictions on energy companies or their partners are introduced under far-fetched pretexts.
Russia ensures stable, failsafe gas supplies to Europe. We continue implementing large infrastructure projects, such as the Turkish Stream and NordStream-2.
I would like to emphasize that we implement all these projects jointly with our European partners, and they are exclusively commercial. I would like to stress again that there is no political background behind these.
The task of these projects is to diversify gas supply routes and remove transit risks, thereby enhancing Europe’s energy security. This is exactly why the logic of normal business relations prevails over attempts to keep energy hostage to political differences.
Naturally, we receive new impetuses to develop cooperation with those that do not support this logic – the logic of dishonest competition. The demand for hydrocarbons is growing in Asia, more quickly than in Europe.
Russia has already become the largest petroleum exporter to China. In the past decade, our shipments of petroleum to China have grown four and half times; exports of petroleum products have doubled.
We are set to launch the Power of Siberia gas pipeline by the end of the year. It will become a part of the eastern route for Russian natural gas distribution.
We are also developing new and vast markets and areas with our foreign partners. We are working in lucrative niches like liquefied natural gas.
<…>Today, Russia has one of the purest, low carbon energy balances in the world. I would like to emphasize this because many people do not know this. Over a third of our energy generation is produced by hydroelectric power stations and nuclear power plants, and another 50 percent by gas.
In the past few years, we have put 800 megawatts of capacity into service based on renewable energy sources. Almost half of this was put into operation last year. Facilities with a total capacity of 4,700 megawatts are under construction or in the design stage.
We are supporting low carbon facilities. Long-term power delivery contracts are signed on projects for wind, solar or hydroelectric power generation.
Electricity from renewable sources receives preference on the retail market in this country. There is a mandatory standard for priority purchases by system organizations. These are real instruments for supporting this energy sector.
Vladimir Putin sent a message of greetings to President of China Xi Jinping on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and China.
“We were the first country to recognize the People’s Republic of China and to develop close cooperation with it. As we look back on the history of Russian-Chinese relations, we can say confidently that they have survived the test of time,” the President of Russia wrote in his message.
Vladimir Putin highly assessed the development of constructive bilateral cooperation in various spheres and meaningful political dialogue at all levels, as well the two countries’ coordinated efforts in dealing with the current regional and global issues, including within the framework of the UN, the SCO, BRICS and other multilateral organizations.
The President of Russia expressed confidence in the further development of the entire range of Russian-Chinese relations in the interests of the fraternal nations, as well as stronger stability and security in Eurasia and across the world.
Vladimir Putin spoke at the final plenary session of the 16th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.
Vladimir Putin: This time, the hosts have come up with a truly inexhaustible and, I would say, fascinating topic which is the East and the role of Asia as the world’s largest and most populated region. Relations between Russia and the Asian states, which have always been of particular importance to us, I believe, are of interest to everyone. The nature of Russia’s relations with Asia is dictated not only by today's realities, but by history as well.
India and China, Egypt and Iran, Turkey and Japan, the countries of Central and Southeast Asia are heirs to great ancient civilizations, which gave humankind unique knowledge and technology, as well as discoveries in medicine, mathematics, culture and the arts.
Asia has always aroused special feelings among intellectuals and creative people, it seemed a little mysterious and mystical, and was considered a source of spiritual strength and wisdom, perhaps not always fully understood, but invariably interesting.
In Russia, the bright colors of the East inspired many of our writers, poets, artists and musicians, specifically Pushkin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Arsenyev, Vereshchagin, Kandinsky and Roerich. The Russian people, and not only Russians, know these names.
<…>The world has become multi-polar and, hence more complicated largely owing to the Asian countries. But, as I have said, multi-polarity as such is not a cure-all. Nor does it mean that urgent problems will disappear by themselves.
The authors of the annual Valdai Club report insist, and we have just heard this, that we have entered an era with no world order whatsoever. This has been practically voiced right now. Yes, such a scenario is indeed possible. But it is fraught with many threats, we are all aware of that. I would like to hope that however complicated the relations between countries, however dangerous the legal lacunae might be, such as in nuclear and missile weapons areas, the world order, based on the key role of international law, will be transformed, but it will remain. We will all be working to protect it. A different way is obviously fraught with global calamities for practically all of humanity.
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A meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council took place in Yerevan.
The meeting in a restricted format was attended by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission Board Tigran Sargsyan.
Later, the meeting continued in expanded format with the participation of President of Moldova Igor Dodon as the head of an observer state, and guests of honour President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong.
Vladimir Putin: The EAEU is developing steadily. It has created a vast market that is functioning well. Integration processes in the EAEU exert a favourable influence on the participants’ economies and facilitate the rise in the living standards.
I would like to note that the aggregate GDP of the EAEU countries also continues to grow, as well as industrial and agricultural production. At the same time, our association is facing new ambitious tasks. We believe special attention should be paid to systematic efforts to remove barriers in trade in commodities and services in different sectors of the market.
The introduction of all-union regulation in finances is also a priority.
Following the current meeting we are expecting to approve the concept for the formation of the EAEU’s common financial market. This document will become a roadmap for drafting and approving universal rules for banking and insurance services and transactions with securities. The implementation of measures envisaged by the roadmap will make it easier for people to use financial instruments and will make this segment of the market uniform and transparent.
The improvement of union legislation in energy is proceeding at a good pace. We hope the agreements on forming a common EAEU electricity market will come into force in the near future. The common electricity space should be established simultaneously with the formation of the union markets of gas, oil and oil products in 2025.
EAEU cooperation in the digital economy should be further enhanced of course. In particular, it is our common interest to launch the standardised job search system “Work without Borders” as soon as possible. This project will help EAEU citizens find job openings in any of the EAEU countries online.
READ ALSO: Transit Potential of the Eurasian Continent Forum
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev paid an official visit to the Republic of Cuba. He held Russian-Cuban talks with Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba, met with First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee Raul Castro Ruz, visited Havana’s National Capitol Building, Havana University and Boca de Jaruco oil drilling site.
Russia will find ways to help Cuba receive oil and petroleum products, particularly through implementation of the plan of efforts on the republic’s energy supply, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said when commenting on the US sanctions on energy supplies to Cuba.
"I think that we will find other ways to help Cuba receive oil and petroleum products. We have agreed that we will virtually form a plan of efforts on Cuba’s energy supply, meaning traditional energy sources - hydrocarbons as well. And probably some other existing possibilities (will be worked out)," he said.
Speaking about the international environment around Cuba, PM noted that "it is very complicated." He stressed that due to the economic blockade the country received almost no investment for 60 years, except for the aid and support provided by the Soviet Union and the countries of the former communist bloc. "As the current US administration has returned to the tough policy on Cuba and imposes sanctions," that makes the situation even more complicated, Medvedev added.
"If that is the way they treat a leader of the country, the First Secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party, how do they treat the other people? So this is a general attitude of the United States towards that country and its people," the Russian prime minister said, commenting on Washington’s personal sanctions imposed on Raul Castro and his family.
Question: Russia has introduced the concept of collective security in the Gulf area. What has the response been? Is this proposal in competition with the US plan? Do you fear that the US sanctions against Iran could lead to an armed conflict in the region?
Sergey Lavrov: The developments in the Gulf area have reached a dangerous line. The explosive situation in the region is largely the consequence of Washington’s irresponsible policies. Not only has the US refused to comply with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program, which was approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, but its provocative actions are encouraging further escalation. This is resulting in an enhanced risk of a large-scale military clash. This scenario is giving rise to much concern in Russia. The region must not be allowed to be drawn into a destructive armed confrontation fraught with disastrous consequences not only for the Gulf countries but also for the world at large.
Russia has summed up its proposals aimed at reducing tensions in the region in the Security Concept for the Gulf Area. The Russian Foreign Ministry officially presented its revamped version in July this year. The initiative involves the implementation of a positive, unifying regional agenda and the creation of mechanisms for joint response to common threats and challenges. I am referring to the launch of a smooth, stage-by-stage process that will take into account the views of all participants without exception. This is the key difference between the Russian proposals and other projects based on the friend or foe principle and implying the imposition of new dividing lines.
We have encouraged a high-quality study of our ideas by the political and expert communities. On September 18-19, the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences held a roundtable involving over 30 experts from Russia, Iran, Arab states, China, France, the UK, and India. We hope that the number of parties participating will expand.
Question: There is some concern that President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky is not always capable of going the whole way to fulfil his obligations. Is there a Plan B regarding the Minsk Agreements?
Sergey Lavrov: There cannot be any Plan B. The Minsk Agreements is the foundation on which everything else must be built. On the practical side, the Steinmeier Formula is a compromise solution compared to the original text of the Minsk Agreements approved by the UN Security Council. Under the original text, a law on the special status and its formalization in the Constitution must precede the elections.
This is logical, because when people go to polling stations to cast their votes they want to know what powers their candidates will have if elected. When we discussed the need for acting in accordance with this sequence, former President Petr Poroshenko said at a Normandy format meeting that he could not grant a special status because he did not know who would be elected. This is an absolutely confrontational and counterproductive approach. Moreover, it contradicts the law. The then Foreign Minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, proposed his compromise formula. In other words, the law is to be adopted and to come into force temporarily when the polling stations close on the voting day and permanently after the OSCE confirms in its final report that the voting was free and fair. It is a compromise and a concession. Therefore, there will be no shift from the fundamental Minsk principles, such as amnesty, a special status sealed in the Constitution, disengagement, full resumption of economic ties, and the lifting of the blockade, which completely contradicts the Minsk Agreements. All of these provisions must remain intact, because nothing will work out without them. <…>
We are puzzled by the latest sanctions adopted by the US administration on September 30 against arbitrarily selected Russian citizens, a national of Taiwan, several entities registered in the Seychelles, the Czech Republic and several other countries, as well as a number of aircraft and one vessel. It is unclear why the Washington bureaucrats have added all of them to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List) and what the aircraft and vessel have to do with the alleged interference in the US election.
It is notable that some individuals have been added to the SDL List for a second or third time, for inexplicable reasons. Either the authors of these lists lack imagination, or they have lost their way in the maze of their numerous lists.
We understand that these moves reflect the ongoing political crisis in the United States, where the Washington establishment is using Russia as an instrument for attaining their vested interests. But those officials who follow the lead of Russophobes should bear in mind that their actions contradict the US administration’s public statements on a desire to normalize bilateral relations and are increasing tensions in the international arena.
As usual, the anti-Russia move will not remain unanswered. At the same time, we urge American politicians to stop the useless and self-defeating sanctions game and take a common sense view of the situation.
Question: You rightly said that your good manners do not allow you to read someone else's correspondence, but there are people who are not so well-bred, they have already read this correspondence and found some evidence of a Russian connection there. So there is a danger that Russia may be involved in a new drama, which might lead to more complications in our relations with Ukraine and the United States. Do you see any risks here?
Sergey Lavrov: I agree that there is continued fixation with searching for Russian connections. The idea was first planted by Nancy Pelosi, if I remember correctly, and reflects that those in the US Democratic Party leadership who still can’t live with their failure to overthrow President Donald Trump or shatter public opinion in the United States, and even less so to prove Russia’s influence on internal political processes, they no longer even bother to find at least some decent arguments and facts. They just plant it – there is a Russian connection, and that’s it. There is something else – it is an attempt to take the heat off the Kiev players who had a hand in helping to put a democratic president in the White House in the 2016 and actually used the same methods that the Democratic Party now condemns the Russian Federation for using.
Question: How could the Russian model compete with the US and China internationally? There are no angels in politics, where everyone has their own interests. What can Russia bring to this region? You talked about the American invasion of Iraq and their destructive role in the region. China has the Belt and Road initiative. What can Russia offer?
Sergey Lavrov: About what Russia can bring to this region as compared with the US and China, we do not bring any negative factors to this region – we do not bring in any geopolitical schemes involving setting one country against another. On the contrary, we always promote dialogue. Any wars and conflicts end in a dialogue. We can see how this works in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and other places. The sooner this happens, the better. Our economic relations with the countries of the Gulf, with the Arab monarchies are developing. We are expanding trade and investment with each of these countries. The Russian Direct Investment Fund creates joint platforms with most of the Gulf countries; there are many cultural and humanitarian programmes. We can offer this region friendship to enjoy and benefit from it. This answer is perhaps not extensive or comprehensive enough, but it is exactly what we want from our relations with any other country – not to impose any concepts, but to seek a balance of interests.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had a telephone conversation with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper. The conversation was initiated by the US side, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday.
"On October 7, 2019, Russian Defense Ministry Army General Sergei Shoigu had a telephone conversation with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the initiative of the US side," the ministry said, giving no further details.
Review of Russia’s presidency of the UN Security Council in September: The key event was the ministerial debate on Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organisations in maintaining international peace and security: The contribution by the CSTO, the CIS, and the SCO in countering terrorist threats.
Update on Syria: The refugees said militants from the US-sponsored illegal armed group Mahavir as-Saura banned civilians from leaving the camp under the threat of death. Those Syrians who managed to escape had to pay the militants large sums of money for their release. It transpired that a big part of the humanitarian convoy again landed in the hands of Mahavir as-Saura. We reaffirm that the grievous situation in Rukban is primarily caused by the illegal US occupation and Washington’s systematic failure to fulfil its commitments of an occupying power under international humanitarian law.
Statements by US Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman: The problem is created entirely by the American side. Sometimes Washington has to reap the fruit of its own confrontational policies in the form of our retaliatory, albeit targeted measures. It is up to the American side to stop the misguided practice of denying visas to official representatives, bringing still more negativity into our bilateral relations.
The annual Russian-US Fort Ross dialogue – is a good platform for cooperation between Russian and the US.
Ahead of the meeting a Fort Ross Harvest Festival 2019 was held at the Fort Ross State Historic Park with Russian folk group performance and observation of the Russian-era cherry trees that still survive.
Russia stands for reinvigoration of mutual exchanges of people with the United States in the business, cultural, scientific and other spheres, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said speaking at the Fort Ross Dialogue international forum in San Francisco.
"We speak for an increase in the number of mutual exchanges of our citizens within the frames of business, personal, cultural, scientific, sports as well as family and friendly relations," Ambassador said.
The Embassy has sent a note of protest to the US State Department over FBI questioning of Russian parliament member Inga Yumasheva upon her arrival to the United States, where she planned to participate in the Fort Ross Dialogue forum.
"She [Yumasheva] was detained at the airport in New York. She was asked to go to a separate room and an FBI officer, who introduced himself, started to question her, for an hour … Moreover, she was offered to meet with the FBI officer in a different, informal setting and to continue the conversation," Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Saturday.
He stressed that Russia considers such actions unacceptable.
"We sent a relevant note of protest to the State Department today," Antonov added, emphasizing that the Russian Embassy is waiting for an explanation.
World War II broke out on September 1, 1939 and claimed the lives of tens of millions of people. This was the worst tragedy of the 20th century. This catastrophe was primarily the result of the aggressive aspirations of those who were convinced of their own racial exceptionality and superiority. An indisputable fact is that throughout the 1930s, the Soviet Union had consistently advocated the creation of a pan-European system of mutual obligations and guarantees designed to prevent a global military conflict.
Having shown unprecedented heroic resistance, the peoples of the Soviet Union not only stood up to a strong enemy in a fierce battle, but, at the cost of their lives, saved the future of all humankind and the world civilisation. In victorious 1945, theworld looked with admiration and sincere appreciation at the liberating soldiers.
Our common duty is to preserve and firmly uphold the historical truth about those events, honour and pass on through generations the memory of the lessons and victims of World War II and everyone who fought Nazism and fascism in the name of independence, salvation from enslavement and the destruction of entire countries and nations, respect for human dignity, and the triumph of the ideals of freedom, equality and fraternity.
We, the descendants of the heroes of that war, cannot allow anyone to falsify or distort historical facts for the sake of their fleeting political interests. Based on mandatory compliance with the decisions of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, which do not have a statute of limitations, we strongly condemn any attempts to revise the causes of World War II. We consider particularly dangerous the ideas that not only pander to xenophobia and intolerance, but, at the state level, cultivate the idea of their own superiority. The justification and glorification of cruelty and inhumanity will inevitably revive the ideology of fascism and Nazism, regardless of geographical or cultural and historical realities.
The most important outcome of World War II was the decision to establish the United Nations as a universal international organisation to maintain international peace and security, and to develop an equal dialogue between member states. We express our willingness to support an international system based on collective principles in resolving international conflicts, the supremacy of international law, primarily the provisions of the UN Charter , with the central and coordinating role of the UN in international relations.
We call for supporting the resolution of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” including the proposal to recognise the Victory over Nazism in World War II as the world heritage of humankind, and monuments to the fighters against Nazism in all countries as the world memorial of humankind.
Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia
Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic
Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus
Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation
Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Foreign Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan
The series of screenings is traditionally organized by the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History The documentary was introduced by Cultural attaché of the Russian Embassy Daria Anisimova and Peter Rollberg, Professor of Slavic Languages, Film Studies, and International Affairs at The George Washington University. Daria Anisimova read out welcoming remarks by Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov:
It is a pleasure for me to welcome you at the screening of the film «Everyday Fascism». This documentary, created in 1965 by an outstanding Soviet director Mikhail Romm, has exposed the inhuman nature of Hitler’s tyranny to millions of people around the world.
The film is based on archival videos and photos. Confident of their impunity, Nazis meticulously recorded their countless shocking crimes on photo- and video cameras. Intoxicated by their sweeping conquests in Europe, they sincerely believed in the forthcoming establishment of the Third Reich’s world rule.
But the Soviet Union managed to stop the victorious march of the Nazi deadly military machine. The Soviet people not only protected their Homeland from enslavement but also liberated the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The Red Army saved hundreds of thousands of innocent people from Nazi concentration camps. The UN declared January 27 – the day when the Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz – as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The Victory was achieved at a huge price. During the Great Patriotic War the Soviet Union lost approximately 27 million citizens. About half of them were civilians. Nazis aimed at enslaving and exterminating the Soviet people. They stopped at nothing: they shelled and bombed peaceful cities and towns, burned down occupied villages, killed civilians, including women, elderly people and children. More than five millions of our compatriots were taken by Nazis to forced labor works in Germany. More than two millions of them died.
Mikhail Romm emphasized that he created the film out of desire to prevent the young generation from forgetting about the horrors of the Nazi aggression. According to him, this movie is a discourse about the origin and the background of this dreadful phenomenon, about the methods Nazis used to grip human souls, crippling them.
Our sacred duty is to save the memory of the immortal feat of tens of millions of people, whose heroic efforts on the battle- and home front as well as in partisan groups secured triumph over Nazism. Regrettably, the less living witnesses of that war there are, the more frequent are the attempts to rewrite the history, diminish the decisive role of the Soviet people in defeating Nazi Germany or even put the USSR and the Third Reich on an equal footing.
Today you will see with your own eyes what actually happened during those days. We must remember the lessons of history and prevent its falsification. It is particularly important to remember that Russia and the USA were allies during World War II. The priceless experience of the U.S.-Russian unity for the sake of peace and stability is in high demand nowadays to combat modern threats and challenges.
The Consul General of the Russian Federation in Houston A.Pisarev greeted the participants of the meeting devoted to the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China and Russia-China Diplomatic Relations.
Visitors of the Russian Bazaar in Washington, DC could experience the best of Russian culture, enjoy homemade food, live folk music and dance, unique imported handicrafts, tours of our magnificent 17th century style church and more!
September 30 is one of the darkest days in world history. On September 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his French counterpart, Edouard Daladier, met with Hitler and Mussolini in Munich to sign an agreement that later became known as the Munich Betrayal, on the annexation of Czechoslovak regions designated as Sudetenland. Czechoslovak delegates were invited to the meeting only because they were to put their signatures on that document. Poland and Hungary also took part in the shameless division of Czechoslovakia.
Historians consider the Munich Betrayal Western European capitulation before the rising Nazism. The heads of the leading Western European countries refused to join forces with the Soviet Union against Nazism and opted instead to appease the aggressor in the hope that this would divert the threat from them and send the German war machine to the East. Later on the same day, September 30, 1938, Neville Chamberlain signed a non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler. France did the same three months later, on December 6, 1938.
Actually, the Munich Betrayal allowed Hitler to start the Second World War, a global disaster that resulted in untold losses to all humankind, but primarily in the Soviet Union, where the war against the so-called brown plague claimed nearly 30 million lives.
It took progressive international forces considerable time and incredible effort to create the anti-Hitler coalition in order to defeat Germany and liberate Europe. The Nuremberg Trials outlawed the misanthropic Nazi ideology and practices.
We believe that the events of September 30, 1938 must be remembered as a reminder of the consequences of politically manipulating public opinion, flirting with Nazism, and the infantile pandering to neo-Nazism, which is reappearing in new forms in Europe.
On October 4, 1957, the world’s first artificial Earth satellite was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The whole world witnessed its flight, while its signal could be received by any radio amateur in any corner of the globe!