Sergey Lavrov’s soundbites

01.09.10

Sergey Lavrov’s soundbites

Источник: «Foreign Policy»

If this report is accurate, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov made some notable comments today at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Lavrov, a veteran diplomat and formerly Russia’s man at the UN, is unlikely to have strayed from agreed Kremlin policy. While welcoming what he described as a «recent shift toward multilateral diplomacy," the foreign minister had some sharp words on a number of diplomatic fronts:

«He described NATO as an organization «stuck between the past and the future» and all but scoffed at the Albright report on NATO’s new strategic concept, which he said «can hardly be considered a strategic response to Russia’s security initiatives.»

He declared that new international sanctions on Iran «won’t be effective." Interestingly, he also said Moscow was concerned about Iran «because it has become a major issue in global politics» — not, presumably, because of its potential acquisition of nuclear weapons.

He gently chided the European Union for its current visa policy toward Russians:

If Russia and the European Union mutually allow visa-free travel, this would entirely transform European politics. On the other hand, if the visa regime is retained, this may hamper implementation of our joint plans.

Here, he was echoing recent statements by Putin himself, who insisted that «traveling between Russia and the EU should be made as easy as possible.»

Lavrov apparently said nothing about Russia’s possibly evolving stance on WTO accession.

David BOSCO


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