11:24 GMT25 February 2020
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    Sergei Lavrov's annual press conference comes amid the sudden resignation of the Russian government earlier this week and it's still unknown whether he will retain the post of foreign minister.

    Acting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is holding an annual press conference and a question and answer session with journalists, during which he will review the main achievements of the country's diplomacy in 2019.

    The senior official is expected to touch upon the situation in Ukraine and Syria, bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington as well as with European nations. 

    Lavrov is also expected to talk about the acute issue of the recent tensions between Tehran and Washington, following the assassination of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and Iran's subsequent missile attack on American facilities in Iraq.

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    • 10:21

      Russia Checking Reports on Syrian Kurdish-Led Forces Releasing Militants for Payment

      Russia is checking concerning reports suggesting that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) let militants out of detention camps for payment.

      "We receive concerning information, which we are checking now, that the Syrian Democratic Forces release criminals, who then settle down across Syria," Lavrov told an annual press conference.

      Lavrov added that Moscow had long been warning the United States, which had an influence on the SDF, to prevent the escape of militants held in the detention camps.

       

    • 10:20

      Moscow Understands Iran's Decision to Limit JCPOA Obligations

      "When Iran says that it will suspend the implementation of its voluntary obligations, of course [Russia] believes that this will not help the cause and gives the US reason to exacerbate the situation. However, we understand the reasons why Iran is forced to do so," Lavrov said at a news conference.

      "[Russia] considers it unacceptable what is happening with the JCPOA," Lavrov added.

    • 09:55

      Lavrov Says at Least 6 F-35 Were in Air Prior to Ukrainian Aircraft Crash in Iran

      There is information that at least six F-35 US aircraft were in the air right on the border with Iran after Iran's response attack on US military bases, but this information is yet to be verified, Russia's acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday, commenting on the downing of a Ukrainian plane in Iran.

      "There is information that after [Iranian] attack [on the US military base], the Iranians were expecting another US strike, and they did not know in what form. But there were at least six F-35s in the air right on the border of Iran. This information is yet to be verified. But I just want to emphasize the nervousness that is common in such situations," Lavrov told an annual press conference.

    • 09:54

      Lavrov Slams US for Promoting Own Destructive Interests Through OPCW

      "You see what is done in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, I have already repeatedly said it. They [the US] absolutely unlawfully empowered the technical secretariat with the function to determine blame in grave violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. They are now trying to apply almost the same approach to the Biological Weapons Convention," Lavrov said.

      Russia and the majority of other countries have repeatedly tried to introduce a verification mechanism for the Biological Weapons Convention, but the US has been blocking it unilaterally, he added.

      "[The Americans] are trying — via secretariats of international organizations, including the UN secretariat, via their non-transparent closed bilateral contacts — to promote their interests, including in post-Soviet states, where they create biological labs with Pentagon's participation. These are very serious issues that concern everyone, but the Americans do not want to address them honestly, with participation of all signatories to the Biological Weapons Convention," the minister said.

    • 09:53

      Actions Against Sputnik Estonia Unacceptable

      Russian acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference on Friday that the Estonian authorities' actions against Sputnik Estonia were outrageous.

      "As regards the specific actions against Sputnik, I believe this is outrageous," Lavrov said.

      He accused the European Union of not doing enough in the situation with Sputnik Estonia.

    • 09:52

      Russia Thinks It's Wrong to Make NATO be Involved in Arctic Region

      "There is no reason to introduce some military methods of work in the Arctic, and in this respect, we consider wrong the attempts to draw NATO into this region ... We favour resuming the previous practice when heads of general staffs of the armed forces of the Arctic Council member states held meetings just to maintain trust, and we suggest resuming such meetings," Lavrov said at an annual press conference.

    • 09:45

      Russia Supports Extension of New START Treaty Without Preconditions, But No Sign Given by US

      "We favor New START extension without any preliminary conditions, and the president confirmed it in the fall at his meetings with the leadership of Russia's armed forces. I hope the Americans have heard us, we have said this many times. but we do not see any clear, distinct signal so far," Lavrov said at an annual press conference.

    • 09:32

      Russia Will Work to Protect WWII Memory, Welcome Foreign Partners on May 9

      “We will do everything in our power to counter any falsifications of history and keep the positive memory of the victorious soldiers, as well as not to allow any revisions of the internationally-recognized outcomes of the defeat of Nazism,” Lavrov said in a statement at the start of the press conference.

      The acting foreign minister stated that Russia was expecting to welcome a number of foreign leaders to Moscow on May 9 for the anniversary celebrations.

    • 09:28

      Russia Wants Iran to Become Part of Dialogue on Afghanistan

    • 09:24

      Russia Advocates For Kashmir Issue to be Resolved at Bilateral India-Pakistan Talks

      "We always advocate for the Kashmir issue to be settled at direct talks between India and Pakistan in accordance with those declarations and agreements that the two countries concluded. This is our position when someone suggests that the Kashmir issue be discussed at UN institutions," Lavrov said at an annual press conference.

    • 09:19

      Russia Sees Situation Around JCPOA as Unacceptable

    • 09:18

      Russia-US Dialogue Continues Though No Impressive Results Reached in Vienna

      “Just the other day, a regular meeting of deputy foreign policy chiefs of Russia and the United States on strategic stability was held. The entire range of issues on the agenda was discussed. The topic of predictability was raised. I can’t say that some impressive results were achieved but the dialogue continues,” Lavrov said at a press conference dedicated to the Russian diplomatic activity in 2019.

    • 09:01

      Attempts to Weaken Russia's Position on Int'l Arena Will Continue

      "Attempts to defame our country both from the point of view of the outcome of World War II and the reasons for the war, as well as attempts to use this lie in order to weaken Russia's positions on the international arena today, will continue," Lavrov said at a news conference.

    • 08:56

      Russia Concerned Over Deployment of US Aegis Ashore in Japan

      "Anti-ballistic missile launchers that are deployed in Japan and purchased from the United States are the same launchers that were used by the United States in tests of not only anti-ballistic missiles but also cruise missiles. This is a weapon that was banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty when it was in force before the United States caused its collapse. This is a possibility of offensive weapons [being deployed] close to our border," Lavrov told an annual press conference.

      While noting that Moscow did not suspect Tokyo of seeking to harm Russia, Lavrov stressed that, nonetheless, the Asian nation was a part of the US military strategy aimed against Moscow.

      The top Russian diplomat noted that the issue of US missile systems deployment in Japan was addressed during the recent visit of Japan's National Security Council Secretary-General, Shigeru Kitamura, who met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

    • 08:44

      Attempts to Launch Dispute Resolution Mechanism Show That EU Wants to Put All Blame on Iran

      "The world has to bend to the US will and not trade with Iran. This is a very alarming situation, which has now taken a dangerous turn. Three participants of the JCPOA from the EU — the UK, Germany and France — sent a letter to EU High Representative [for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep] Borrell in which they said they wanted to initiate the dispute resolution mechanism that is part of the [JCPOA] deal," Lavrov said.

      He added that the three countries had been pressured by the United States to take such action under the threat of Washington introducing 25 percent tarrifs on their car industries.

    • 08:33

      It's Important That Sides to Libyan Conflict Don't Set Additional Conditions After Berlin Conference

    • 08:32

      Final Document of Berlin Conference on Libya Almost Coordinated

      "We supported the initiative to hold a conference [on Libya] in Berlin from the very beginning. The more countries want to help the Libyans create conditions for resolving this crisis, the better it will be ... [Russia] took part in all five preparatory meetings. The final documents are now practically agreed upon. They fully comply with the decisions adopted by the Security Council on the Libyan settlement and do not contain any provisions that contradict the decisions of the Security Council, "Lavrov said at a press conference.

    • 08:30

      Ceasefire in Libya Still Being Observed

      "The main thing is that the ceasefire, which was announced before the arrival [of the participants to the intra-Libyan conflict] in Moscow, is being observed. This is a definite step forward and we hope that it will continue to be observed," Lavrov said at a news conference.

    • 08:24

      Syrian Crisis at Advanced Stage of Settlement

      "The Syrian crisis is in an advanced stage of settlement. There is progress in almost all areas — political, military, diplomatic and humanitarian," Lavrov said at a press conference.

      However, he said that economic recovery in the Middle Eastern country was slightly lagging as Western partners and some countries in the region were putting forth preconditions, which were changing depending on the situation. Lavrov added that this was detrimental to the process of Syria's post-war recovery.

    • 08:17

      Solutions Reached at Normandy Four Meetings Shouldn't be Left on Paper, Have to be Implemented

      Russian acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed on Friday hope for further progress in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis taking into account the arrangements achieved during the latest Normandy Four summit in Paris in December.

      "We hope that the decisions taken in Paris in December will allow to advance toward implementation of the Minsk complex of measures [on the Ukrainian settlement]," Lavrov said at a press conference.

    • 08:10

      Acting Russian FM Sergei Lavrov Holds Annual Press Conference - Video

      Acting Russian FM Sergei Lavrov Holds Annual Press Conference - Video

      Sergei Lavrov has just returned from Uzbekistan, the last leg on his Asian tour, which also included stops in Sri Lanka and India, where he addressed issues related to economic, political, and cultural cooperation.
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    Summarising the Year: Lavrov Highlights Results of 2019 Russian Foreign Policy in Annual Address
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