On December 14, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov met with participants of two major projects of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund. Members of the Gorchakov Club and participants of a research and educational program “Dialogue in the Name of the Future – 2016” gathered in a conference room.
When opening the meeting, the head of MFA of Russia stressed importance of contribution made by the Gorchakov Fund into development of an international platform, which promotes communication of objective information about our country to the global community.
One of the most important topics of the ministers’ speech was dedicated to events in the Middle East. Sergey Lavrov expressed hope that the situation in eastern Aleppo would be completely resolved in the following 2-3 days.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a meeting with participants of research and education program “Dialogue in the Name of the Future” and members of the Gorchakov Fund’s Club of Friends, Moscow, December 14, 2016:
As Mr Drachevsky has said, the format of our traditional meeting within the Dialogue for the Future framework has been expanded this year due to the involvement of the Gorchakov Fund’s Club of Friends. I’m glad to see a growing number of young people fr om many countries, including young researchers and representatives fr om the Gorchakov Fund’s regional youth programmes, who want to get a better view of international relations and Russia’s position in this complex situation. It is our pleasure to satisfy this interest.
I believe that the world can and must be safer and more comfortable. If all members of the international community shared this view, we would live in a more peaceful world and would have more confidence in our future. Unfortunately, some of our colleagues cannot resist the temptation to try to maintain their once dominant positions, to change political regimes in sovereign states to their own liking, to export not just revolutions but democracy, which results in bloodshed in most cases. Of course, this policy contradicts the standards of international law and the need to maintain a democratic world order. This policy also runs counter to historical experience. We have seen many times over the past decades that the dream of global domination is a dangerous chimera.
Attempts to enforce development models at all costs and without due regard for national traditions, including by provoking revolts and through direct military intervention, have destroyed statehood in several countries and turned vast regions, primarily the Middle East and North Africa, into zones of chaos and anarchy and a source of terrorist threat and extremism. As I said, all of this is a direct result of the untenable policy of interference in internal affairs, manipulation of the development models of states and a passion for geopolitical engineering.
We are especially concerned about Syria, which has been a zone of tragedy for more than five years. The terrorists were on the verge of seizing the country’s capital 18 months ago. In that period, Russia sent its Aerospace Forces to Syria at the request of its legitimate government to help the Syrian Army fight the terrorists. This has prevented ISIS fr om implementing its plans to seize control of not just large regions in Iraq, wh ere they had been firmly established by that time, but also in Syria, in particular, the eastern coast, Aleppo and Damascus. A huge “terrorist international” – tens of thousands of terrorists from over 80 countries – has been fighting to achieve these unsavoury goals. Only the intervention of the Russian Aerospace Forces helped prevent the tragedy – and this only with great difficulty – and push the terrorists back. I hope the situation in eastern Aleppo will settle in two or three days. We have created humanitarian corridors which tens of thousands of civilians have used and are using to leave the city and receive humanitarian assistance. We have also created corridors the terrorists can use to leave on good terms and have offered them security guarantees if they left the city. It’s another matter that we will yet have to fight them in some other place wh ere they settle. But our immediate goal is to end the tragedy of Aleppo, to help people resume their peaceful lives and start rebuilding this ancient and Syria’s largest city. I hope the terrorists will stop their resistance in two or three days. The minority who refuse to do so will have to face the circumstances.
It is obvious that crises can be only settled politically, including the crises in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iraq. The developments in these countries, and primarily in Iraq wh ere an operation to seize Mosul is ongoing, are connected in a highly dramatic manner to the exodus of civilians and the numerous tragic instances when the US air force and the aircraft of the US-led coalition obviously hit the wrong targets, such as the positions of the local regular army or civilian facilities.
To be continued...