June 3, 2023
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.


At the end of his working visit to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov answered journalists’ questions by giving a final press conference.

Here are the most important responses of the Minister:

On NATO expansion

Lavrov called the thesis erroneous, according to which Russia, opposing NATO expansion, supposedly, on the contrary, accelerated it. “We also have our own bell towers and assessments that unbiased observers and political scientists make in Russia and abroad. They lie in the fact that NATO wanted to destroy the Russian Federation, but in the end it rallied it,” he said.

About the Ukrainian conflict

“Pump up Ukraine with weapons!” – this is how the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry defined the goals of the US, EU and NATO in the Ukrainian direction. Which, in his opinion, led to the emergence of a special theory, which he voiced at a press conference, at the same time diagnosing its authors: “This ridiculous theory has appeared: let’s now provide Ukraine with a successful counteroffensive, and then ask Ukraine, Zelensky to start negotiations. This is some schizophrenic logic“.

He also recommended counting “the number of private military companies that exist in the United States, Britain, France – dozens, many of which have been working for many years, by the way, right on our borders, including inside Ukraine”, noting that this is ” also raises significant questions.

About American politics

“The US has a strong desire to destroy the Russian economy, regardless of administrations,” the minister said, declining to comment on the official nomination of the incumbent US president for a second term. “The Russian government does not interfere in the affairs of other states,” he assured. But he promised retaliatory measures for not issuing visas to Russians, including media workers declared to take part in the minister’s trip. “We will certainly keep in mind such dishonorable behavior of the American leadership,” he promised.

About contacts with the USA

Lavrov noted that the Russian side has some channels of interaction with the US administration. For example, a channel for discussing possible prisoner exchanges. The Minister emphasized that “such work does not imply publicity”, since “publicity in this case can only complicate this process.”

About the economy

Question return foreign companies, which “their governments expelled from Russia and which obeyed, but now they are trying to return,” the head of the Russian foreign policy department does not consider it urgent. “Let our business occupy the vacated niche, we will develop our economy through the development of material goods,” he believes.

About the grain deal

The situation with the grain deal can be considered a dead end. And with the reaction of the Russian president, to whom the UN Secretary General addressed about the grain deal through Lavrov, it will be possible to find out “after the addressee has read it.” At the same time, the minister expressed the hope that “the content of the letter has not been leaked, because this is a personal correspondence between the head of the UN and the head of a UN member state, and if it was made public, this paper would not be very decent, it would mean another attempt to provide pressure on a situation that is not resolved and that has been brought to a standstill by our Western colleagues.”

Lavrov described in detail some of the obstacles that Western countries put up for the grain deal: “The UN Secretary General asked three American banks to replace SWIFT and help Rosselkhozbank service export operations, several months have passed, and indeed, one of the banks kindly agreed to finance one operation.” But the West demands to build further work on this principle, and Lavrov called such an approach frivolous. “Everything is aimed at preventing Russian grain and fertilizers from entering world markets and entering certain countries,” he said.

About the situation in Sudan

Many questions about the situation in the hottest to date point of the planet – Sudan. The Russian diplomat recalled: “How did the Sudanese state develop? First in the singular, and then in the number of Sudan and South Sudan. It was all before our eyes, when the American colleagues made the division of Sudan into two parts one of their priorities … But the Americans did not like something, and they announced sanctions against both the leadership of Sudan and the leadership of South Sudan.” Lavrov called this “geopolitical engineering that does not lead to good” and recommended “not to interfere with the Africans to negotiate among themselves, not to add some demands from the outside that do not reflect the interests of these countries.”

On the resumption of the nuclear deal with Iran

Lavrov is confident that not resuming this deal would be a huge mistake. “Those who destroyed it must bring it back to life. According to our estimates, the document that was agreed upon last year meets this task,” he summed up.

About hopes

Journalists were also interested in philosophical questions, for example, what does the Russian Foreign Minister hope for? Lavrov appreciated the attempt to switch to a different, less politicized direction, but answered not without emotion: “I am paid money not for hopes and not for expectations. We must solve specific problems. And now, first of all, they concern ensuring the security of our country and preventing the Russians, who have lived in our neighborhood for centuries, from being subjected to discrimination and extermination by the Ukrainian regime, including physical extermination, as they publicly declare from the lips of officials.”

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