Sergey Lavrov does not think that decision on deliveries of S-300 air defense systems to Iran was a political mistake


Rusya Dýþiþleri Bakaný Sergey Lavrov, Libya lideri Muammer Kaddafi'nin siyasi sýðýnma talep etmesi durumunda cevaplarýnýn olumsuz olacaðýný söyledi.

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov didn’t agree with a suggestion that decision on deliveries of S-300 air defense systems to Iran was a political mistake, TASS reports.

“Deliveries of S-300 systems to Iran were never prohibited neither by UN Secutirty Council nor by unilateral sanctions imposed by USA and EU, – the minister reminded. – The contract was put on hold by Russia in response to request of our western partners, who said that this move will make Iran take a more constructive position in the course of negotiations”. “But it’s been a long time since that moment and we believe that positive results and agreements reached in Lausanne are good enough for us to encourage Iran to continue cooperation. But this time we are going to encourage them by lifting our unilateral ban instead of putting the deliveries of S-300 systems on hold. And by means of starting the implementation of this contract,” Lavrov said.

“In terms of the region’s security, these S-300 systems do not threat anyone, – the Russian minister noted. – They are not causing troubles to anyone unless someone wants to bomb Iran”. According to him, “such situations are possible and we saw it recently, for example, in Yemen”. “That is why defense systems, which prevent risks and decrease willingness to carry out military strikes, are in line with our position – for many years we have been promoting idea of creating a regional security system in the Persian Gulf region with the participation of all the Arab countries and Iran,” Lavrov explained.

Russia does not intend to breach Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty — Lavrov

The Russian foreign minister said Moscow thinks a number of actions the US takes, including in the framework of deploying the global missile defense system, directly violate the INF TreatyRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov


  US actions in the framework of global missile defense system directly violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists on Tuesday.

“Precisely considering the INF Treaty, our American colleagues have long been asking questions on how responsibly we implement the document,” Lavrov said. “We answer that there is a mechanism of Russian-American consultations on reviewing the agreement and possible complaints. We asked the Americans to formulate precisely their complaints and concerns about the Russian Federation,” he noted.

The foreign minister said he regrets the fact that over the two rounds of consultations, US failed to specify their suspicions neither at the level of preparations nor during the consultations themselves.

“They only say, ‘You test-launched a rocket, you know what we are talking about’,” he continued. “But this not a serious talk. We will be ready to consider concrete evidence that gives Americans grounds to think that we violated something,” Lavrov stressed.

“We have formulated our rather concrete questions to the American side that we think that a number of actions it takes, including in the framework of deploying the global missile defense system, directly violate the INF Treaty,” Lavrov said.

“I still confirm this officially. We are open for an honest, but specific, not unsubstantiated dialogue in order to remove any concerns,” Lavrov stressed. “We do not have any intentions to break this agreement,” he added.

The minister called the US rhetoric counterproductive and harmful.

Lavrov commented on the statement of US General Martin Dempsey on Washington’s plans to deploy its cruise and ballistic missiles in Europe and Asia that might be targeted against Russia.

“We hear these statements and we study them, and here it is very important to understand what he meant in particular as sometimes these statements are taken out of context,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov stressed that these issues are “too serious to react off the top of one’s head.”

“In principle, we believe it is absolutely counterproductive and harmful to build up militarist rhetoric, moreover that all our partners say unanimously that they do not want the return of the Cold War time,” he said.

“If this is so in fact, then one should be probably more careful when saying,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said there are concerns about issues related to military construction and these concerns are always addressed and they need to be solved further through a “direct and frank dialogue,” the minister said.

“We had these opportunities with all our Western partners both in a bilateral framework and in the framework of the NATO-Russia Council,” he reminded.

These communication channels were frozen not due to Moscow’s fault but upon the initiative of the Western partners, including those in the 2 plus 2 format, when foreign ministers and defence ministers met, Lavrov said.

US statements on Russia’s INF treaty breach used as excuse for own breaches

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly antonov on Tuesday said the United States keeps alleging Russia is in breach of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force treaty in order to excuse its own steps Washington presents as retaliatory.

“One has the impression the United States is making a fuss about alleged Russian violations to create a pretext for implementing its own, ostensibly retaliatory military steps, expected to assert US leadership in resisting a Russian military threat – a myth Washington keeps inflating in defiance of obvious facts,” Antonov said.

He remarked that the Russian Defense Ministry had taken note of the timing of the media leaks with calls for joint actions by the United States and its allies to compensate for Russia’s alleged violations of the INF treaty.

“These publications were timed for another upsurge in the anti-Russian campaign in the West ahead of the G7 summit meeting and the forthcoming EU summit, which will be discussing the prolongation of anti-Russian sanctions,” Antonov said.

“We would like to draw the United States’ attention to the extremely dangerous effects for international security and stability this policy regarding the INF treaty might bring about,” Antonov said.

Supplies of S-300 air defense systems to Iran due soon — Russia FM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif
MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. The supplies of Russia’s S-300 air defense system to Iran is due soon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the media following talks with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif on Thursday.

Lavrov said that the theme of S-300 systems was not discussed.

Iran filed a $4 billion lawsuit against Rosoboronexport in an international arbitration court in Geneva in April 2011 after Russia suspended the 2007 contract on the supplies of S-300 missile systems to Iran.

Under the 2007 contract, Moscow pledged to deliver to Tehran five battalions of medium-range air defense systems S-300 worth $800 million. Iran made an advance payment of $166.8 million. No supplies followed up to the middle of 2010.

In September 2010, Russia’s then-president Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on measures to implement the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1929 of June 2010 to prohibit the supplies of S-300 to Iran. The contract was annulled and the advance payment was returned to Iran.

Mistrals’ delivery is about signed legal contract and French nation’s dignity — Lavrov


December 16, MOSCOW
Russia and France signed a contract for the construction of two Mistral class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy in June 2011

© AP Photo/Laetitia Notarianni 

MOSCOW, December 16 /TASS/. The delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers is the matter of a signed legal contract and dignity of the French nation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the France 24 TV Channel on Tuesday.

The Russian foreign minister was forced to interrupt the French correspondent when asked about the Mistrals. “I have to interrupt you. I don’t make any comments on this issue. This is the matter a) of a signed legal contract, and b) of dignity of the French nation,” Lavrov stressed. “I don’t have any more comments,” Lavrov replied when the French journalist tried to continue the subject.

Russia and France signed a contract for the construction of two Mistral class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy in June 2011. The first Mistral — the Vladivostok — was launched in October 2013. In September 2014, it underwent trials at sea with Russian sailors onboard despite the fact that the question of its handover to the Russian side remained unresolved.

France is to hand over the second Mistral helicopter carrier — the Sevastopol — to Russia next year. The contract is valued at €1.12 billion.

Results of US-led international forces’ presence in Afghanistan unsatisfactory — Lavrov

Methods for fulfilment of the UN Security Council mandate caused the present situation in which ISAF withdrawal is planned before the end of the year though the country is far from stability

US soldiers in Afghanistan

US soldiers in Afghanistan


MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. The results of the presence in Afghanistan of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are unsatisfactory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.“The results of the American-led ISAF presence in Afghanistan are unsatisfactory, although this concrete operation in general was sanctioned by the UN Security Council after Al Qaeda staged an attack on the United States on September 11, 2001,” he said at an open lecture on Russia’s foreign policy issues.

“Nevertheless, the mandate fulfilment methods caused the present situation in which the coalition withdrawal from Afghanistan is planned before the end of the year and the country is still far from stability and remains a source of spreading serious threats, including the threat of terrorism that has not disappeared anywhere and the drug threat that has considerably increased over the years of the coalition forces’ deployment in Afghanistan,’ the minister said.

These threats have “a negative effect on our neighbours, including in Central Asia,” Lavrov added. “This is another confirmation of the fact that problems of the modern world, including regional conflicts, can be settled only based on complex approaches that imply active involvement of all the counties concerned,” Lavrov said.At the same time, he said, “over the past 10 years, our partners from NATO have been stubbornly rejecting our proposals to establish working interaction with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Saudi Arabia to supply Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles – report

Saudi Arabia to supply Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles – report

Frustrated by the deadlock of the second round of Geneva 2 talks, Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to supply the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. Meanwhile Russia has accused the US of once again hijacking peace talks and pushing for regime change.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Russian-made antitank guided missiles and Chinese man-portable air-defense systems are up for grabs, already waiting in warehouses in Jordan and Turkey.

An Arab diplomat and several opposition figures with knowledge of the Saudi efforts have told WSJ that these supplies are likely to tip the battlefield scales, as the rebels will become capable of taking on the government’s air power and destroying heavy armored vehicles.

“New stuff is arriving imminently,” a Western diplomat with knowledge of the planned weapons deliveries told the American publication.

Leaders of the Syrian opposition said they don’t yet know the total amount of military aid that will be shipped. The new weapons are expected to reach southern Syria from Jordan while the opposition in the north will get arms from Turkey, the Western diplomat said.

Raising fears that civilian aircraft may eventually become targets, last June several media outlets suggested that Saudi Arabia had already begun supplying anti-aircraft launchers and missiles to militants in Syria. But so far Saudi Arabia, as well as the US, has been officially opposed to arming the rebels with big guns and antiaircraft missiles as they could fall into extremist hands.

According to the WSJ report, rebel commanders struck a deal on the new armaments shipment during a meeting with US and Saudi intelligence agents in Jordan on January 30. During that meeting, rebels allegedly claimed that their new military gains would help force official Damascus consider President Assad’s ouster and bring forward a political solution to the conflict.

Mercenaries on US payroll?

The Wall Street Journal also reports that their rebel sources claimed the US government is paying their salaries to fight the Assad forces. The Southern Front brigades allegedly received $3 million in cash in salaries during the two meetings in Jordan, one held on January 30 and the other late last year.

Meanwhile, congressional aides told the WSJ about scheduled meetings with Syrian opposition leaders next week. The Syrian delegation will allegedly seek extra armaments in order to battle al-Qaeda and al-Nusra elements.

“We’re trying to assure the international community that they can support moderates without the threat of arms falling into the hands of al-Qaeda,” said Oubai Shahbandar, a senior adviser to the Syrian opposition. Saudi Arabia and US have so far refused to comment.

Geneva 2 stalemate

As the second round of Geneva 2 talks so far fails to produce any results, the Russian Foreign Minister has criticized the American stance at the negotiations accusing it of hijacking the talks for the purpose of “regime change” in Syria.

“The only thing they want to talk about is the establishment of a transitional governing body,” Sergey Lavrov said Friday after meeting with the German foreign minister in Moscow. “Only after that are they ready to discuss the urgent and most pressing problems, like terrorism.”

“I am very worried about the systematic attempts to disrupt the political settlement in Syria,” therefore “forcing the (Syrian) government to slam the door.”

Lavrov recalled that talks were kick started to implement the original Geneva communique, position of which Russia and Syria solemnly defend. The June 2012 document stipulates the creation of a transitional political body, holding of free and fair elections, the start of a national dialogue, a review of the constitution and legal system. Nowhere does it mention removal of president Assad.

“Now they are saying that to keep talking is senseless, because the government (of Syria) doesn’t want to agree about the makeup of a transitional governing body. We are going in circles,” Lavrov said.

The Syrian government’s position remains that stopping terrorism and bloodshed should be the priority at the negotiations that started last month. The second round of negotiations between government and opposition representatives began on Monday but no progress has yet been made. The opposition, backed by the US and its allies, insists on forming a transitional authority with “full executive powers,” thus ousting Assad.

After five days of negotiations the opposition has accused the government’s team of “belligerence,” while the government delegation said that the opposition have an “unrealistic agenda.”

“The negotiations are not moving toward a political solution,” said Louay Safi, a spokesman for the Syrian opposition delegation, accusing the government side of adopting a hostile stance.

“I deeply regret to say that this round did not achieve any progress,” Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said. “We came to the Geneva conference to implement Syria’s declared position to reach a political solution. … Unfortunately the other side came with another agenda, with an unrealistic agenda.”

The UN’s Lakhdar Brahimi, curator of the talks, plans to meet the sides on Saturday, the final day for round two of the negotiations, but it remains unclear if he can offer any prospect of drawing the warring parties closer together.