World Disorder: How Russian Diplomacy Begins 2021

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Blocking Donald Trump’s Twitter account, arms control, foreign policy ideals, observance of the Minsk agreements and the settlement of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on these and other issues at a press conference following the results of 2020. However The main topics of the meeting with the press, which took place on January 18, were the traditional confrontation between Russia and the West, as well as the situation with Alexei Navalny. Answering a question from Izvestia, the minister said that Russia needs to send another request to Germany in connection with the incident with the blogger who returned from Germany the day before.… According to Sergei Lavrov, this is necessary so that “the German colleagues do not feel that they have already fulfilled their functions.”

“We have no illusions”

In 2020 the actions of the United States and most of its Western allies were aimed at “undermining the architecture of international life” and “consigning to oblivion the classical forms and norms of international law”… This is how Sergey Lavrov characterized the past year in his opening remarks, explaining that the West is thus seeking to build a world order based on its own rules.

The clearest example of this is the gradual abandonment of work in the UN and the creation outside of it of “exclusive mechanisms, groups of so-called like-minded people ”, whose decisions are then imposed on other participants in international relations. These mechanisms relate primarily to the area of ​​cybersecurity and media freedom issues.

“One of the manifestations of this kind of rules <…> is the concept of multilateralism, which our German and French colleagues have begun to promote in the last two years,” said Sergey Lavrov. – The descriptions of this concept, which are contained in the public speeches of the heads of the foreign ministries of Germany and France, openly say that there is an attempt to present the European Union and everything that it does in terms of rule-making, in fact, as an ideal of foreign policy.

In general, there were many references to the “subversive actions” of the West – especially the United States – in the minister’s speech. They ran a red line through almost every answer. So, commenting on the words of American diplomats about the unfriendly attitude of the Russian Federation towards Greece and Cyprus, he said that US representatives behave in this way everywhere – “An American diplomat in any country does not hesitate to pick up a microphone and declare that the country in which he serves as ambassador , must stop communicating with the Russian Federation. “

Will this change under the Joe Biden administration? “We have no illusions,” the minister said. According to him, the line on US dominance in the world will remain, and the containment of Russia and China will remain among their foreign policy tasks.… Another thing is that “the manners, perhaps, will be a little bit more polite”, but the essence of politics will not change from this.

One of the key topics is the problem of arms control and, first of all, the extension of the START Treaty, which expires on February 5, 2021. Sergey Lavrov called Joe Biden a specialist in this area, who “is interested in having a professional team, not propaganda.” According to the minister, Russia’s position on START III is to extend this treaty and start working on a new document, which would include all types of strategic weapons.

We will wait for concrete proposals, our position is well known, it remains in force, – said the chief of Russian diplomacy.

Wherein Sergei Lavrov also talked about internal problems in the United States, which “broke through.” So, commenting on the situation with the blocking of Donald Trump’s Twitter account, he said that large technology companies “do not even want to know what rights they have in their state” and “do not put a penny” on the country’s constitution… Sergey Lavrov also criticized the procedure for the American presidential elections: according to him, in November, voters were literally imposed an expression of their will by mail – as a result, about 40% of the votes accounted for just such a procedure, and this is “a rather serious thing.”

– All this was approved by people who harshly criticized our vote on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Voting “on stumps” pales in comparison with what was done with the voting mechanism in the United States, – said the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“There will be no more trust”

Quite a large share of the press conference was taken up by answers to questions about the situation around Alexei Navalny, who had returned from Germany to Russia the day before and was detained at Sheremetyevo airport. The minister started talking about this himself in his opening remarks. Thus, the calls of Western politicians to release the blogger – such statements were made by representatives of the European Union and the United States – he called an attempt to distract society from its own problems.

– We saw how yesterday we seized on yesterday’s news about Navalny’s return to Russia. You can feel the joy with which carbon-copy comments go. With joy, because, apparently, it allows Western politicians to think that in this way they will be able to divert attention from the deepest crisis in which the liberal model of development finds itself, ”Sergei Lavrov said.

The journalists asked clarifying questions about what kind of image of Russia this situation creates abroad, whether a criminal case will still be instituted in the Russian Federation on the fact of poisoning, and if not, then what is stopping it.

Since we did not find anything in Navalny’s analyzes that speaks of poisoning with military substances, we have no grounds under our legislation to initiate a criminal case, no matter what anyone tells us about the opposite, ” the minister stressed.

Sergei Lavrov added: everything related to the return and detention of Alexei Navalny is within the competence of law enforcement agencies, and this situation “acquired artificially” foreign policy sound.

Probably, you need to think about the image, but we are not young ladies who go to the ball… After all, we must first of all do our job, and our job is to implement Russian foreign policy, the minister said.

He once again drew attention to the fact that Western countries, accusing Russia of allegedly poisoning a Russian, did not provide her with any evidence: for example, RF requests to Germany were redirected to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and from there back to Germany. On the day of Alexei Navalny’s arrest, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Berlin had nevertheless responded to Russian inquiries. However, as the representative of the department Maria Zakharova said, “the problem is that, as always, they did not contain anything in essence of the questions asked.” At a press conference, Sergei Lavrov clarified that only the testimony of Alexei Navalny himself and his wife Yulia was given in the answer.

Answering Izvestia’s question whether Moscow will send more inquiries to the FRG, the minister drew attention to the fact that this is the prerogative of the Prosecutor General’s Office, however, in his opinion, such a step is necessary. “Just so that the German colleagues do not feel like they have already fulfilled their functions,” the minister explained.

As Izvestia previously reported, Russia offered the OPCW to exchange information on this incident and conduct a joint study of the victim’s samples in the Russian laboratory, but the organization was not ready to provide its results.

– For a very long time they tried to somehow get away from a direct answer: they said: “How is it, we are internationally recognized, we ourselves will check and tell you.” This will not happen, there will be no more one-sided games. And there will be no trust in either the Bundeswehr clinic, or the French clinic, or the Swedish clinic, which the OPCW will choose for its internal purposes.until we are convinced that these people are honest scientists, honest specialists, ”summed up Sergey Lavrov.

According to him, Russia is still interested in solving problems through dialogue. However, “to break into a closed door, which the West is holding together locked and bolted, is somehow, you know, beneath our own dignity,” Sergey Lavrov summed up.

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