03:54 GMT +324 July 2019
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gives a live interview to Radio Sputnik, Ekho Moskvy and Govorit Moskva radio stations

    #AskLavrov: Russian Foreign Minister Holds His First Ever Radio Q&A Session

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    On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave a live interview to Radio Sputnik, Ekho Moskvy and Govorit Moskva radio stations, answering questions of listeners and readers from around the world.

    On Wednesday three Russian radio stations conducted a live interview with the country's top diplomat. It was the first time Sergei Lavrov holds a radio Q&A session answering questions from people all over the world.

    In the run-up to Larvrov's Q&A session, Internet users were encouraged to ask their questions on Twitter using the hashtag #AskLavrov.

    New messages
    • 14:05

      The last question (a personal one):

      Margarita Simonyan wonders if Lavrov really used the F-word addressing [British former foreign secretary] David Miliband in 2008.

      "I did tell Miliband "don't lecture me", but the F-word was a quote from a colleague of ours, who had returned from Tbilisi and called Saakashvili a "f*** lunatic". That's the context the F-word was used in".

      Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband attends a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on November 2, 2009
      © AFP 2019 / ALEXANDER NEMENOV
    • 13:57

      Does the world need a policeman to prevent tragedies like the Rwandan genocide?

      "The founders of the UN realized that the organization would need its own forces, the peacekeeping forces. They are not "policemen."

    • 13:53

      What about the countries worried by Crimea's reunification with Russia?

      "Crimea is not a reason for somebody to get nervous."

      In a Freudian slip Obama recognized Putin improvised [on Crimea], while the US "brokered" the transfer of power.

    • 13:51

      Who are our permanent allies now?

      "We have formal allies, we have the Collective Security Treaty. Next, we have strategic partners, members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS nations."

      Russia doesn't share the western approach: "either you are with us or against us", therefore it doesn't create military blocs.

    • 13:46

      On the EU accusations against Gazprom:

      After the EU adopted the Third Energy Package, they tried to apply its regulations retrospectively to previoulsy signed contracts, which is absolutely unacceptable.

      Rules are not set in stone. Let's come together and have a discussion (Russia, EU, Gazprom).

    • 13:43

      Lots of questions about the Western sanctions:

      The reason sanctions don't concern me that much is that we need to develop our own production anyway.

    • 13:42

      Do you have any political Viagra for the UNSC?

      Some people say the UN Security Council is impotent. Do you have some political Viagra for them?

      "People who say the UNSC is impotent don't like it when certain decisions are vetoed by other countries."

    • 13:41

      On Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko:

      Savchenko is a Ukrainian MP and has immunity from prosecution. Is it OK for Russia to hold her in prison and try her? - Venediktov asks.

      "She's being charged with a serious crime which resulted in the death of Russian journalists. And she was arrested before she became a member of [the Ukrainian] parliament."

      "She's not a hostage or PoW. She's a criminal suspect. She can receive amnesty as part of the Minsk accords. If the court decides she's not guilty, she will be released. If she is found guilty, she can be amnestied".

    • 13:37

      On Lukashenko and V-Day Parade:

      "Belarus troops, among others, will take part in the Victory Day parade in Moscow."

    • 13:35

      A lot of questions on Armenian genocide recognition:

      "I don't know what the US will decide. We made our decision years ago. Paying tribute to the victims of mass crimes shouldn't be interpreted as an occasion to ruin relations with anybody."

      "On Nagorno-Karabakh we did more than anybody to find a solution to this crisis".

       

    • 13:22

      And now.... the most popular question from our Iranian readers!

      Is there a military alliance between Russia and Iran? "No, we don't think we need a military alliance."

      But we are partners, including in fighting terrorism.

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    • 13:28

      On drone supplies to Ukraine:

    • 13:21

      Russian bases in Latin America?

      "We're interested in our armed forces being capable of performing their duty around the world." But we don’t want US-style bases, which are more like fortresses.

       

    • 13:16

      Lavrov on the difference between the S-300 system and the US missile defense shield:

      Question: Russia opposes the US missile defense, but supplies anti-air missiles to Iran. Isn't it a case of double standards?

      "The S-300 [like those supplied to Iran] is not a weapon you're going to use against nuclear missiles, unlike missile defenses."

    • 13:12

      Isn’t Russia turning into a land of complaints? Shouldn’t we be more proactive?

      Lavrov: I disagree. Just look at Syria: we did a lot to make sure that the Libyan scenario does not repeat in Syria.

    • 13:09

      What about Snowden?

      After a short break, the session resumes. A question about Snowden: was the whole situation Russia's plan? "No, it was an accident, 100%. While he was in the air, they cancelled his passport. We didn't even have any legal grounds to let him board his connecting flight. He asked for refuge and we gave him refuge, because he was persecuted."

    • 13:04

      Are you ever going to run for president?

      "No, I love my job and am doing my best to remain in it."

      Dorenko seems to disbelieve: "our average listener must be thinking: if he said 'no', it means he will run!"

      Lavrov laughs.

       

    • 13:02

      Lavrov is asked about his... suntan:

      "It's my natural skin color. From Mom and Dad."

    • 13:01

      Where would Ukraine be today, without the coup?

      Our president told his partners "if you prevent this violent Russophobia, nothing would have happened." Yanukovych would have remained president until the end of the year and and of course he wouldn't have won the next election. And thousands of lives would have been spared.

    • 12:57

      The reason behind the crisis of confidence in Russia's relations with the West:

      "A day before the coup, there were phone conversations between Obama and Putin. Putin said, Barack, I ask you to influence the opposition and ask that they dont complicate the peace process. And Obama promised that."

      We all know what happened next...

    • 12:53

      Who shot down the MH17 flight?

      "I would like to know." But the Dutch investigation is too "secretive".

    • 12:53

      How should the EU act?

      "The EU should follow its own interests. Not to listen to fringe groups who take orders from across the ocean."

      Meanwhile, "Americans do a lot to prevent Germany from developing closer ties with Russia."

    • 12:49

      On “manageable chaos”:

      I believe Americans are not stupid. When they do something, they do it on purpose. It is important for the US that others depend on them.

       

    • 12:47

      Concerning "American ignorance":

      Simonyan: An American teacher of mine knew nothing of the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia. Lavrov: What could she teach you then???

    • 12:43

      Meanwhile, behind the scenes...

    • 12:41

      Will Obama be invited to the Normandy Format?

      Ask President Hollande. The Normandy Format was his initiative.

       

    • 12:40

      Who is the best person for you to do business with?

      "I'm comfortable with everybody." Even State Secretary Madeleine Albright. "She allowed me to smoke in her residence!"

       

      Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with Madeleine Albright
      © Sputnik / Mikhail Fomichev
    • 12:40

      Finally, a personal question!

      Can we “nationalize” our elites? Why does your daughter live in London? – She lives in Moscow, married to a Russian and recently bought an apartment here. And they are planning to stay here.

       

    • 12:37

      Russian refugees from Donbass face huge problems accommodating in Russia. What can be done for them?

      Give me the names of these people and I'll try to help them. But that won't solve the [bigger] problem.

    • 12:32

      ISIL is our number one enemy:

    • 12:30

      Which is worse: the "southern threat" or US/NATO?

      "Concerning China, we’re doing the right thing. We have a strategic partnership with China, and this guarantees that Russian-Chinese ties will remain friendly."

      Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

      Russia Not Threatened by China, US Missile System Is Sole Threat – Lavrov

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    • 12:25

      Lavrov on severed contacts with NATO:

      We used to have good arrangements of working with NATO, but all of them were suspended all of a sudden.

       

    • 12:23

      Lavrov speaks on international threats:

      I don’t see any threat from China. No threat from the East at all, except for the US missile defense system.

       

      Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

      Russia Not Threatened by China, US Missile System Is Sole Threat – Lavrov

      US global defense missile system is the only threat to our country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
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    • 12:18

      Are you disappointed with Obama? – US listener asks

      "I wouldn't want to get personal, but there was much hope, there was even a Nobel Peace Prize of course, but right after that there were many wars, wars that were absolutely illogical."

      Preparations for the live stream with Sergey Lavrov

      Moscow Had Much Hope for Obama, But Many Illogical Wars Followed - Lavrov

      Moscow had tied much hope to US President Barack Obama, but many illogical wars ensued, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
      Read more
    • 12:16

      Venediktov asks if Moscow sees any of the US presidential candidates as “the most convenient”

      There’s a theory that Republicans are easier to work with, because they’re tougher. I don’t share this theory. The most important thing is that our partners remain pragmatic and don’t dictate to the rest of the world.

      U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) places her hand over her heart during the National Anthem at the 30th annual Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa, in this September 16, 2007 file photo

      Russia Ready to Work With Clinton if She Wins Presidential Race - Lavrov

      Russia will cooperate with Hillary Clinton if she wins US presidential election, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
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    • 12:13

      We want Ukraine to remain neutral:

      If Ukraine falls apart, external powers will strive to make Ukraine an anti-Russian state.

    • 12:08

      The first question is about Ukraine, asked by a listener from Vienna

      Ukraine can only exist as a country by recognizing the diversity of the nations that make up Ukraine, Lavrov says. Ukraine should not fall apart and disintegrate. But decentralization is vital.

      Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

      Ukraine Should Stay United, Country Cannot Be Torn Apart- Lavrov

      Ukraine needs to remain united and it is inadmissible to tear it to pieces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
      Read more
    • 12:07

      Sergei Lavrov's Q&A session begins

      The interview is taking place in the Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow and is hosted by three renowned Russian journlists: Margarita Simonyan (Sputnik), Alexei Venediktov (Ekho Moskvy) and Sergei Dorenko (Govorit Moskva).

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    #AskLavrov: Russian Foreign Minister Holds His First Ever Radio Q&A Session
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