tv Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov News Conference CSPAN January 16, 2018 4:07pm-5:44pm EST
[speaking in foreign language]. >> translator: colleagues, good morning. we begin our traditional press conference by russian foreign minister sergey lavrov. the highlights of last year's efforts. please be brief in your questions so that we can take as many questions as possible. we have press conference in russian. but you will have some translation into foreign languages. and the broadcast is available
on our website and social media. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. hope you had a good holiday season. welcome to the new year. very grateful to you for taking part in our annual press conference. i don't think i should spend a lot of time on my introductory remarks. just recently, the president gave a big end of the year press conference. and just a few days ago, president putin met with the editor's in chief of russian news agency.s in chief of russis agency. you are well familiar with the president's comments, including foreign policy. i will say briefly that once again, we have to say that this
year was not easy. we see various hot spots around the world and middle east. not in africa. and ukraine. and in the recent months we saw serious escalation because of the threats coming from washington. threats to solve the nuclear issue on the korean peninsula through the use of force. we heard similar threats regarding afghanistan. again using force to solve the problem and of course the statements intended to disrupt joint comprehensive plan on the iranian nuclear program. further destabilizes the situation. unfortunately our u.s. partners and their allies still want to condu
conduct affairs through dictating and ultimate uums and they are unwilling to listen to other centers of international politics. and they refuse to acknowledge the merging multipolar world. the methods they use to deter their arrivals, are for a large part, from the deployment of the global missile defense system, unilateral, territorial application, of its laws and, like i said, threats to resolve international issues based on their own scenario, including even the use of brutal military force as a result we see international law being undermined. international institutions
losing their significance. and more and more as states building up their military might. which they are regard as almost the only guarantee of preserving their sovereignty undercurrent circumstances. therefore, we've been doing our best to protect russia's national interest on international affairs including the interest of our people, and interest of russian companies, which often are discriminated against. and simultaneously we do our best to protect international law, based on the u.n. charter. working together with other constructive forces, internationally, we've been upholding universal values of truth, mutual respect and cooperation. doing our best to prevent the
d degradation of the international world order which is seriously upset to date and we want to our best to prevent the world from d descending into chaos and confrontation. specific areas of work, i'll comment on that when i answer your questions. i'll only answer right now that this year, this new year will continue with our efforts in all those areas. this includes, fighting terrorism. we saw serious progress with that in syria and currently syria is at an important stage moving on to important dialogue and working together with turkey and iran. preparing for dialogue with
congress where a wide range of syrian forces will be participating as required by the u.n. security council resolution 254. we will continue working on the you' iranian nuclear deal. and the palestinian/israeli conflict. conflicts problems are further complicated by the fact that palestinian issue has not been resolved. of course we will also continue working on ukraine. a problem which can only be resolved by full implementing the package of measures adopted in m in minsk in 2015. we have an important event
coming up, the president ial election. our embassies, cons lates, and those aboard will be able to vote.u lates, and those aboard will be able to vote.lates, and those aboard will be able to vote. i will stop here and start the interactive part of our conversation. >> translator: as you might know, the media publishes the writing of top words, top ten words of the previous year. what would be your rating? >> well, for the fear of being
misunderstood, i won't talk about specific words. as far as stories are concerned, it is, of course, syria. this is a problem where many interests of many players converge. and like i said, we do our best. there is this initiative of the syrian dialogue in congress. we do our best to harmonize the interest of all of the syrian parties and external players that can influence the situation. of those, who would like to advance their interest in the region as part of this syrian process. this is a complex process. but like i said, we have reasons to believe that the group of iran and turkey, which was able a year ago to launch the process
of deescalation zones and despite attempts to undermine these efforts this initiative still is quite effective. and the process also stimulated the united nations and before we started the process, the u.n. process did nothing for about ten years. so i hope the issue involved is syrian national dialogue congress will also stimulate the u.n. to step up its efforts. in other words, the sochi congress pursues the goal of helping the geneva talks and we clearly said as much to our colleagues, including the u.n. leadership. and the countries involved in this syrian settlement, the second story of the year, i
guess the middle east in general, middle east in northern africa, because syrian settlement is just a part of a very complex nexus of problems existing in the region. i can mention libya, yemen, and i have already mentioned the palestinian israeli settlement, which is experiencing a deep crisis. and i still remain convinced that with regards, the influence in the palestinian/israeli settlement, the dead-end setting up a palestinian state, this has very negative effect on the radicalization of the. ukraine is understand subject which artificially is overinflated.
and is regarded by some as the grind stone in the relations between russia and the west. i think it is an absolutely erroneous approach and i wish they could abandon such a view. which they use for the crisis. confrontation between the quote unquote shore tari unquote authoritarian russia and democratic west. instead we should focus on the minsk agreements because they are extremely clear. and they don't allow any double interpretation, different interpretations. if only we could focus on this we would be able to resolve this conflict. we would not use ideological
interpretation of the situation as something that means a lot to relations between russia and the west. this would allow our western partners to abandon their unconditioned support for kiev, which disrupts the minsk agreements. this is another story of the year. i can also mention some positive trends. the eurasian, the implementation of the greater eurasia project, including sco, asean, this project is open to new participants in east and in the west alike. of course, these are groupings
which em body the trends of the modern world. the objective process of the system of international relations emerging. of course, i may have forgotten something i should mention. but these are the stories we keep working on on a daily basis. >> m >>. >> translator: mr. lavrov, i'm from taiwanese news agency. leaders of russia and china say they would like to continue to cooperate in international fairs just before the new year. so what are the major international issues where russia is counting on china?
the operation will have its next summit in june in china, what's your expectations? >> translator: i'm very grateful to the moderator for letting you go second. because you mentioned a subject which i did not mention when answering the first question regarding stories of the year. of course, the nuclear problem of the korean peninsula is one of the most serious issues today. russia and china have been working together closely on this matter. as you know, we have a joint initiative with china. regarding way to move from confrontation to political settlement. to begin with, we suggest that
everybody should calm down and freeze any confrontational actions especially conducting military drills and launches of missiles, nuclear tests, and large-scale maneuvers. conducted by the united states together with the republic of korea and japan. so once there is this moratorium in place, such ban on hostile actions, we will actively support direct contact between the interested parties. including first time for most of course, pyongyang and washington.
we will also give support for this dialogue including the six-body process involving also russia, china, japan and republic of korea. this, i think, is the most important item on the russia china agenda. i would also like to say that by working on this matter is not easy. like i said, the united states says openly about the need for a military solution, even though everybody's aware of dire consequences of such reckless action. and in a situation, where there
was opportunity for dialogue, we saw reaction of like military drills around north korea, which proved further escalation. we have a joint-drawn map together with china and we will work based on it. we also work together on the syrian settlement, our chinese colleagues share russia's position on this matter. what i mean is resolved on the political needs base on the position which there should be politic political dialogue without preconceived conditions, and with syrian including government and all key opposition movements. 's flekting the diversity of the syrian population, ethnically and religiously. we also have another important joint initiative with china, a
draft treaty on nondeployment of weapons in space. we put it together years ago. unfortunately, because of the united states, this treaty is not discussed. other countries realize it is an important matter. but united states makes plans to mill tarrize space, to deploy weapons in outerspace. which of course, will make international security issues much, much more difficult. by the way, at the summit conference, china co-sponsored the draft of another important document, convention on prevention of the use of chemical and biological weapons for terrorist purposes. and again, surprisingly, the united states opposed this move.
and finally, in eurasia, we have been working closely, consolidating our efforts for integration china has its own initiative called one belt one road. the president of russia and the chairman of china have agreed to promote cupeling of eurasia celebration and one welt one road initiative. members of the eurasia economic union have been working together on a treaty on the trade deal with china. some we see contacts between the su and open for eurasia to open and signing agreements with eau
and free trade zone agreement for talks around the world. on the whole, this is what president putin calls the greater you'grea greater eurasia project. we have to consider a number of important factors. there are a lot of economic interests at stake. but efb, there are -- this initiative looks so promising because it's based on real life initiative looks so promising because it's based on real life initiative looks so promising because it's based on real life initiative looks so promising because it's based on real life initiative looks so promising because it's based on real lifes initiative looks so promising because it's based on real life this initiative looks so promising because it's based on real life.efb, there are -- this initiative looks so promising because it's based on real life., there are -- this initiative looks so promising because it's based on real life. it doesn't set up for advance then move on to practical things, no. the way we do is, well i can give you a metaphor.
you see where people find it comfortable to walk. and after that, they make pathways. can i give you a long list of other initiatives that russia and china have in common. there are key items to work together. >> translator: mr. lavrov, in 1988, russia ratified an agreement on friendship and partnership with ukraine. i guess it was 1998.
but in 2014, this agreement is no longer relevant. but it was automatically prolonged for ten years if it's not denounced. and you have to do it, what will you do, will you automatically prolong this agreement or will you denounce this agreement? and again, you're an expert at international affairs. what's your advice to your leadership? >> i did not get your second part. >> so what will you do? will russia denounce this treaty? or will it automatically prolong it? or if you don't know yet, what russia will do, what will you, as an authority, an expert in
international affairs, what will you advise to your leadership? >> well, if i don't know what to advise, how will i advise? jokes aside, i got your question. we have one mp, who embrace this issue, and the other day he said that one of the sections was on respect for territorial sovereignty. territorial integrity and sovereignty and this provision is no longer relevant because crimea had referendum and the people of crimea decided to become independent and then join russia. well for me, this is not really relevant. international document are important, but it is up to the lawyers. politically, we continue to
respect territorial integrity of ukraine, in borders following the crimea referendum after crimea reunited with russia. there have been many legalese questions on that, including the budapest memorandum. according to budapest, ukraine said it will no longer have its nuclear stock and, again, we've never threatened ukraine with nuclear weapons. so it means that there have been no violation of the budapest memorandum. but in a separate protocol ukraine said it will not provoke racist trends.
but what happened after protests was a gross violation of that commitment. but politically, i assure you, mr. president putin reiterated once again, we see full implementation of the minsk agreements without any omissions. that is fully in line with our respect for integrity of ukraine and in its current borders following the crimea referendum that was held and fully lined within international law. >> but we are talking about the 1998 borders and territories in terms of 1998. maybe this treaty needs to be modernized. >> with all due respect, the issue you just raised, only
distracts us from the bottom line. bottom line is that ukraine has subscribed to the minsk acords and the minsk accord have nothing to do with crimea and these, of course, need to be implemented. we need to focus on pushing the key authorities to deliver on what they committed to and what is also part of the insecurity council resolution. i don't think we should diverge and discuss what we should do with this international treaty. i think that minsk calls are much more important and again, it was unanimously approved by the u.n. security council. we know from our private conversations our colleagues got to pass in the west fully
understand the tactics of the key authority towards the minsk accords. they see that our ukrainian neighbors have made repeated attempts to use forwards to resolve the situation. but in fact, what they do is they just ignore the efforts that need to be taken as part of the minsk accords. so don't want us to hypothesize. i don't want it to be seen as disregard for international law. but actually, international law was ignored and disregarded by those who stoked up the protests. back in february 2014, an agreement was reached between
then president mr. yakakovich. but the next day it was torn to pieces by the opposition. western counter parts that were present at the signing ceremony, they have actually betrayed the ukrainian nation because the agreement put forward a national unity government. and instead, they asked the government of winners, as he said, and then the convention brought together and the mps of
the east and south an they decided to assume authority and control of their territory. so they never took any military action. but on the 23rd of february, the national parliament passed a law on the languages and it was an anti-ration law and they sent a signal. on the 26th of february, coup leaders sanctioned use of force by the right sector and the organizations to storm the supreme council to the parliament building of crimea. so five days after european
leaders were not able to push the key leaders on their movements. so again, five days after the coup, the key authorities sanctioned the use of force against the key -- the crimea parliament. and again, the referendum movement started after that when crimeans realized they could have nothing to do and want to have nothing to do with the key authorities. so again, the use of force and sanction of the force and investment around them of international law. so russia subscribes to international law but first of all, we would like to -- we would like those who invited us at first to sober up and behave accordingly.
>> translator: in january, there was a poll conducted by the center and 68% of the russian people said the united states was hostile country. situation is somewhat similar and 64-72% of american people who view russia as an enemy, could you please comment on these said figures? and maybe answer the question, whom or what we should believe for enemies in each other? >> translator: president putin made statements on this issue. it is not an egg and chicken problem.
rather it is a problem of your opinion. of your world view. the americans are known for their feeling of exceptionalism and speuperiority. president obama mentioned that several times. president trump has not said that. but the efforts and steps by the elite and the american leadership worldwide clearly indicates that they still rely on this mentality. it would be one thing if there would be positive examples if they had fair competition. but this is the realities that it is the other way around.
the west is losing its dominance that they've had for at least five centuries. and their objective process is on the way. it is the chorus of history that leads to the emergence of new power centers. new powerhouses. international system needs to be adapted so that there's equal dialogue, cooperation involving those new powerhouses. they need to be part of the decision making process. but the u.s. is not doing this. it resorts to illegal means trying to get back their role in international politics that has been eroded. the u.n. charter is a very
important document. it sets forth a number of rules that have to be complied with. i don't think that we need to notify this document, although we are in favor of reforming the u.n. security council and this process is on the way. but we need first and for most to respect each other and coordinate our positions. this is something the u.s. is missing out on. especially with the current administration in place. once an initiative from washington is countered with criticism or with counter
efforts, they immediately get angry or start to threaten their counter parts with sanctions. certainly, the shaping of the multipoll world is a long process. the world economy is growing in cycles and it's not the west, it's not the u.s. that tries economic growth. it is painful process. you need to p put up with this, but there is no other al tern piff. the u.s. is following allies and some sanctions and trying to punish the european companies and their businesses.
the volkswagen scandal was one example. and again, they use extrater torer to /* territorial principle of applying -- and the trump administration has taken on some of the legacies, some of the principles from the obama administration and they've even made -- even become aggressive on some issues. so the administration is afraid of clear competition in energy and as it applies to europe. you're aware of this. russian gas. is replaced by l & g from the
u.s. which is several times more expensive. and again, no stream project has been countered by some of the forces it says it is used to strangle ukraine. it would be bad for europe. but if you take germany, as an example, 2,000 kilometers shorter than ukraine. and almost two times cheaper than ukraine. that defends the sector of russia. we've been severely sanctioned. but the only purpose and it is clear for me, is to prevent our
defense from growing. i think you need to have a level playing field instead of banning or pushing third party countries, not to buy russian weapons or equipment. take the media. you have biassed attitude to sputnik and in france we have seen russian journalists and russian media have been banned from ukraine. and just recently french, the french president said they need to introduce rules to fight fake news. but there will be one regulator, one party, that will define what
is fake news and what is not fake news. and there will be no dialogue on that. take sports. multiple events ahead of the upcoming olympics have been measures taken against russian athletes. and i have no doubt and our president said as much there have been instances when our athletes have used illegal substances but there have never been cases before when collective punishment has been used. and clearly it's a way to punish russia. to hurti its pride. and also to avoid fair
competition. and again, i've just given you examples that you can clearly see on web sites and media. russians read this. analyze this information. digest it. and bean poles do matter but i believe the u.s. administration demonizes russia and they are most responsible for the public opinion that we have today. we cannot, you know, use for that actions are always in response to what the u.s. has been doing with trying to act in a more balanced way. but we cannot put up with all the legal actions that the u.s. has been doing. you might also remember the unprecedented story when our
diplomatic property was seized and we are now launching proceedings, court proceedings. social media is aware of all the stories. and that's this kind of stories happening, you cannot convene our audience or social media users so that's the u.s. is the best place in the world. >> a question from syrian journalists. >>. >> translator: mr. lavrov, what do you think about talks and talks in geneva?
are there any shifts in the positions of donald trump and the administration on the syrian crisis? thank you.you. >> the talks are covered extensively. we embark on this process after the failure of the obama administration to distinguish between the u.s. controlled opposition from terrorist groups. president obama and president putin met in september in china in 2016. there was an agreement on that. following that, together with john kerry, we drafted an initiati initiative but the u.s. failed to deliver on their commitment. they were unwilling or they
didn't want to crank down on them. and we still have that fear and we are getting more and more evidence that this is exactly the case. the u.n. was idle at that point. and together we have, turkey and iran, we decided to act, to put forward a plan that would rely on the situation on the ground. we started to engage the syrian armed opposition and later met in the capital of cast a stan with the syrian and warned the deescalation zone that was set up with jordan, u.s. and russia. the level of violence went down
drastically. there are people trying to disengage the situation. the organizations and institutions that signs the agreements on the part of the opposition forces and they are controlled by turkey, they are experiencing some additional pressure. and just recently they had several aids againraids against syrian army. and at the same time there has been some provocations against the russian air base. and we wihad to respond because these were direct in opposition to the agreement. some of our western are parts are saying it's the syrian side that is violating the agreement. but this is exactly the opposite. we very much hope that our
turkish counterparts will complete the deployment of the remaining checkpoints around the deescalation zone. i think they currently have three. but overall there needs to be 20 checkpoints. and we contacted our counterparts in turkey. they said they will try to complete the deployment. we hope this will help to resolve the situation. we have a similar situation, some of the western media and western politicians have been raising a lot of buzz about alleged operation, alleged offensive of the syrian army. again, every step of the syrian army staking in response to the raids of the shelving of
damascus, including the districts where the russian embassy is located. and we cannot turn a blind eye to it. we have to crack down on the illegal actions. so we, moving ahead h , in line with the agreements, there will be additional humanitarian steps that will be taken, exchange of prisoners of war and other confidence building measures that will help to launch the national reconciliation process on the ground in those local areas where the deescalation zones have been set up. we mentioned it several times that the process is in no
competition with the geneva process and we will always have u.n. representatives there. and the upcoming national dialogue congress would also contribute to it. and u.s. security council resolution said that u.n. security council resolution 2254 provided for a most broad representation of the syriian opposition, but what we had in geneva, those are people who believe in, saudi arabia or the unit united arab em ritz, but they'll
focus on the efforts to launch the political process. and would also engage, most importantly the opposition figures that are inside syria. not only those who are openly against the syrian governments, but also tribal leaders, the noncolumbno noncombatants, so their opinion needs to be taken into account when talking about the future of syria. is there any difference between the trump administration's policy and the obama administration's policy? i don't think there is any distract difference. unfortunately both cases we are seeing that the u.s. is not actually helping to put out the
flames of the conflict. they are helping those who are seeking a regime change in syria. i said it once that rex tillerson, just like john kerry, assured me that the only goal why the u.s. is present in syria, closing with its navy and special operations personnel, and its coalition, is dismantling terrorism. dismantling isis. the u.s. says that there is still hot beds of violence. there is still pockets of resistance by isis. but even if you take it into account, the actions that we have been observing indicates that the u.s. did not want to keep syria as a state in its
current borders. just recently we had an initiative that u.s. wants to help the democratic syria forces to set up some border zones, border security zones. what it would mean is that vast swaths of territory alongside turkey and iroc wouaq would be isolated. itsd to the eait's to the east euphrates river. between the kurds and arabs. and if you say this zone will be controlled by some forces supported by the u.s., that will be a force of 30,000 people, that's a very big deal, that's a very big -- there are a lot of
question marks. there is a fear that they would be pursuing a policy to cut syria into several pieces. but, again, there is nothing in the u.n. security council rees lu resolutions that have been pointing to that. or there is nothing in the previous agreements. so we are expecting clarification from the u.s. on that. >> mr. lavrov, i represent the kurd tan media. i have two questions. thes first question is also on syria. your armed forces of turkey launched at least 40 strikes against the opposition of syrian kurds over the last 24 hours at
owe between. what is russia's position on this subject? and the second question on the conflict between you rbi d and baghdad. conflicts between them continues. dozens of kurds have been killed in this area. and over 200,000 kurds are now refugees. what role can russia play in the resolution of the conflict between u rbi d and baghdad? thank you. >> the answer to the second question is very simple. whatever role is seepabptembera and whatever role they are interested in we support iraq territory. we believe all should be through talks and dialogue.
if the parties need some kind of immedia mediator ship and if russia is as a mediator we'll septembacce positively. this is a role we should all work together. we want cease fire to be impla mernt implemented and of course kurds are part of this and should be taken into account in this work we now do. in including the work we do preparing for the syrian national dialogue congress. but i mention that there is a new initiative, new project by the united states to set up this
border security forces relying on the syrian democratic forces with the kurdish troops. as you know, turkey responded negatively to that. and i said that we have serious questions as far as the territorial integrity of this is concerned. but this is also a problem because of the problem between kurds and turkey. and the fact that this new project, this new unilateral ultimatum like step does not help calm down this situation with ufrain. >> channel 1 tv station.
president donald trump said last week defiantly that it's the last time it extends the freeze on iran sanctions. what are the consequences? >> we have responded to this situation. we believe that the joint comprehensive plan of action on the iranian nuclear program is one of the biggest on the international community as far as stabilizing the situation in the middle east is concerned. and it is absolutely necessary to deter the process of erosion of the nonproliferation we
geometry. we have made our position known to the tuunited states repeated. when we first heard doubts from washington regarding the need to maintain the comprehensive plan on the iran rian nuclear progra together with the chine's and european partners in this deal, we told washington that we believe such an approach would be destructive and it will result in unpredictable consequences. unfortunately, our goals remain unheeded. and so far we were unable to make the united states change its point of view. we will continue insisting that the united states should recognize the reality. and the reality is that iran has been abiding by its obligation under the nuclear deal, as verified by the aiia director
general. the aiia did not have any complaints about iran on compliance. now what the united states is trying to accomplish is basically change the text of the agreement by including provisions which would be totally unacceptable for iran. and we will not support that access to any facility immediately whenever required. this goes beyond the existing agreement. unlimited denial of iran's rights under the nonproliferation treaty in the aii charter. and at the same time, there is
an attack on iran, generally, the united states wants iran to stop developing ballistic missiles which has never been a subject of talks and iran has never made any such commitments. and more abstractly, they want iran to stop meddling in other countries affairs in the region. and stop violating human rights at home. and now there is a whole package of sanctions to be imposed on iran being prepared, including these so-called violations that go beyond the nuclear deal. this is deplorable because in just a few months we'll have another review. and if the united states decides to escalate, i don't even want
to think about consequences, because iran will think it is no longer bound by the comprehensive joint action plan. i really hope that your european partners, and of course the americans are going to put a lot of pressure on them right now, i really hope that they will abide by the comprehensive action plan, which was approved by the u.n. security council resolution, which is binding for all the parties. it is deplorable that the united states once again gave us reason to believe that they are unreliable. and as one of the basic consequences, again, i go back to the nuclear problem of the korean peninsula. if they want kim jong-un to
suspend his military nuclear progr program, offering to lift sanctions this was the essence of the deal between the international community and iran. so if the treaty is now canceled and iran is told that it should abide by its commitments and sanctions will be reimposed, what would do you if you were the leader of north korea? they say they will lift sanctions if north korea suspends its military nuclear program, but then the next day they can cancel their promise, take it back. by the way, today in vancouver, there will be a meeting on north korea called by the u.s. and
canada, including countries that were members of the u.n. coalition. during the korean war from 1953, when we found out about this meeting, we asked why, why do you need all those countries together? greece, belgium, columbia, luxembourg, what do they have to do with the korean peninsula today? and what are they going to do there at this conference? the americans told us, first of all, this is important because we want to expand support for our joint efforts. and when we asked them about the agenda, they stayed the agenda is to come up with a mechanism for additional pressure on pyongyang. just a couple of weeks ago, there was another resolution passed. and in two days they say that
they will call this meeting in vancouver. russia and china were not invited but they told us that this meeting will start later today, and then on 16th, and you can come, russia and china can come on the evening of the 16th and we will tell you what we have worked out. we said this was unacceptable and that we insisted that the your honor should not accept invitation to this meeting as well. so speaking of the methods, and the manners of american diplomats, i think yesterday or the day before there was a briefing at the state department, and there was a question asked, why did you decide not to invite russia and china to this in conference in vancouver? and the answer the spokesperson gave was basic but the essence
was that we discussed this with the moscow and beijing, and both countries support these efforts, support this conference. this is an outright lie. we said we think this meeting is harmful. so let's wait and see. but at this point it's hard for me. i don't know what the european country's position will be like. i think they are asking -- they are suggesting, looking for a compromise. so i think gradually the situation may deteriorate. >> i'll speak in english, if that's okay, then in russian. in light of the events that you've mentioned with sanctions being tight end with the loss of your diplomatic compounds and
investigations under way into alleged russian meddling into the united states, the current relationship between russia and the u.s. seems possibly worse than under president obama. after one year of president trump and considering the possibility of additional sanctions in the coming weeks and months, do you personally ever regret the day that donald trump became president? and do you ever wish that hillary clinton was sitting in the white house instead? >> you know, this is not what diplomats do, regretting about things that have happened. we work with facts. and facts are what we have today. so we just do what needs to be done to advance russia's interests under current
circumstances. >> mr. lavrov, thank you. this is fap. i would like to go back to the middle east. >> translator: regarding the recent statement by mahmoud abbas, he accused israel of putting an end to the peace deal and he called trump's proposal on the israel palestinian agreement a slap in the face of the century. you know we've commented on this situation. trump's announcement regarding moving the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. and we commented even more on the detrimental effect and the risks regarding this deadend in
the palestinian israel settlement. and we completely understand the emotions that palestinians feel today. for years, step by step they have been making unilateral concessions without getting anything in return. and like i said, they were ready for direct talks with israel without any preconditions. and we were ready to receive them here in russia. russia has a platform for such talks. but, so far, we haven't had such direct contacts without any preliminary conditions. and under current circumstances, i think chances of this happening are close to zero, which is sad. at the same time, we have been hearing for a few months that
the united states was about to publish a big deal that would sort out all the problems and make everybody happy. we haven't seen such a document. we haven't seen or heard anything like that. once again, the fact that the palestinian problem remains unresolved is one of the biggest factors that help radicals recruit new members for their movements, future terrorists. my israel colleagues used to be offended with me for such statements but all serious analysts understand the statistics for the region. at the same time, this should not discourage us. there should not be any
breakdown in context between the two parties. and i really hope that soon we should be able to have consultations with our partners within the core tet in addition to the united states, this includes the united nations and the european union, and swrewe' brainstorming session on what we should do next. we cannot allow the situation to drift in a continuous way. i hear that there are ideas in palestinian to dissolve the national administration and authority and declare pini palestinian an occupied territory and leave the responsibility of the functioning of this territory for all the systems for the people that live there. but t put the entire responsibility on israel. i hope that we are able to find
a way out of the situation. like i said, we'll have consultations with other partners in the quartet, including bilateral contact with the united states. question from pakistan. >> good afternoon. in 2007, russia and pakistan had multiple contacts on fighting terrorism and drug trafficking and on afghanistan. what about 2018? what is to be expected? >> you are right saying that we step up our efforts fighting terrorism together. we are interested in confronting
the terrorist threat in which includes pakistan, afghanistan, and spills over, spills over the border with afghanistan. we all want to see this threat neutralized. and our agreement to supply pakistan with special equipment including helicopters, for anti-terrorist units is another indication of how serious we are. in addition to that, we also have our interests in developing economic operation, of course, pakistan, just like india, became a full member of the corporation of the organization last year, which provides us with additional opportunities for working together in many different areas. because the fco is a structure that on the one hand ensures security in our region,
including fighting new threats. and at the same time, this institution is intended to develop economic and human ta y humanitarian cooperation. so i think russian pakistan ties will also benefit from that. speaking of the sco and fighting extremism, i would like to mention that there was an important document signed by the leaders of the sco last year. i mean, the convention on fighting extremism. this convention sets up a very important framework, including the principal that it is unacceptable to use terrorist and extremist groups in the interests of putting pressure on the sovereign states. we have seen many examples of that, including libya when gaddafi was ousted. and such attempts.
we also observe them in syria. so i think this was an important convention. india and pakistan join this convention. and in addition to sco members, we see that other countries are interested in joining it because it's open, it's not limited to sco members only. this year japanese prime minister will visit russia and you will go to tokyo. we had a question from bbc. but what about you, are you planning to visit japan? and what is your mission? what possible agreements or documents will be signed?
when will this meeting take place in tokyo? before the march election or after the presidential election? >> just recently we have encountered new problems. that's the deployment of the new system in japan. it's the anti-missile defense. and they say that our japan east authorities say it is different from one installed in korea and one installed in europe. and it's japan that controls this anti-missile. that it's not part of the u.s. global missile system. they also said that it's not
possible to use tomahawks in this system. what is bash shah response to it? >> good things first. yes, we are looking forward to prime minister abba visit to russia. we have an agreement for the foreign ministers to meet in the runnup to this visit. the ministers, the date of the ministers meeting will be determined later at a time that is good for both parties. as for our specific plans, the prime minister and the president will look into the implementation of the agreement on joint economic development of disputed territories. we have five areas that we focus on.
it's limited scale project, but we hope they will add some other industries to this project. and then deputy foreign ministers have been working on that. we are happy that the two plus two talks have been resumed between the foreign ministers and the defense ministers. the chief for the russian general staff, mr. gara visited recently, and prior to that the general went there, and there was a meeting of the bilateral commission. and simultaneously a colleague, mr. tarakunda visited rush and russia and we had talks here. so now we'll set a date for a new meeting.
economic a part from the economic development has been going gate well. we have japanese investors in russia. japanese banks provided the serious amount of money in loans for for the project and long-term investment and stability to our cooperation. humanitarian contacts, as always, has been strong. in addition to annual russian culture festival, last year we had cultural seasons. and we are quite happy with what we've been doing in our place. but in japan we would like to coordinate closer on the international arena. we discussed this during our two plus two meetings. and of course we would like
japan to be more independent. when discussing key international issues in international organizations. the missile defense issue is a dark cloud in our relations, let me be frank about that. we talk to our japanese partners and they offered all those arguments. they said this is egis system that will be deployed in japan is different from what south korea has and what they have in europe. we don't have this data. the data we have indicates that the system to be deployed in japan uses universal launchers, which can use strike missiles. we heard that supposedly japan
will control this system. the united states will not have any control over this system, but we still have our doubts about that. and as part of our security dialogue between the secretaries of the security councils of russia and japan, we would like to receive more substantial assurances on that. we are not aware of any cases anywhere around the globe where the united states would deploy its weapons and then would handle or control over those weapons to the host country. and i really doubt that the united states will make an exception in the case of japan. but, like i said, we are open to dialogue. and we would like to have a dialogue on missile defense, something that we suggested 11 years ago, we want to start
this. we want all of us to see clearly that this missile defense systems. we have a number of questions on what the united states does in this regard. we don't want those systems to destabilize the international system. so far our u.s. partners, just like under the obama administration and the bush administration before him, just said the systems will no t be used against us and we should not be worried but we have lots of information showing this is not true. >> as tonnian television. as stoppian newspaper. mr. lavrov, in 2014, you signed
agreement on the border with as tanya and your counterpart. and the first reading on that document took place in 2015 by the as tanya and the parliament. there was arrangement that the process would take place in sync, as stop yeah having waiting for two years for the first reading on that agreement and the russian parliament. and in 2015 there was a meeting and you promised that parliament will start its process soon. soon is when? >> well, there is some background to this story. we first signed this treaty in 2005. and we made a commitment to ret rat a phi this ratify this treaty without any
politicized caveats. yet, the as stoppian parliament ratified this treaty. and added to the ratification treaty which openly states that their territorial claims to russia remain. this is a violation of the -- this was a violation of the commitments made by my colleagues. so then we revoked our signature under this treaty and we said, guys, when you reconsider your package of documents and when you remove this reference to the agreement, we will be able to restart those talks and sign this treaty. and eventually this happened and we did sign this new treaty. and once again we made an
agreement that the process will be synchronized. you are right about that. but you mention the number one condition. and number one condition was that there will be nonconfrontational atmosphere between the ruling elites in both countries. we maintained our part of the deal. we did not launch any attacks against as tanya, just like in the past. but the as stoppian government did not show such restraint. on the contrary, the rhetoric was extremely there, and we said openly that our parliament, our people would not understand us if we promote this treaty in such an environment. at the same time, the border is
there, and the treaty will sooner or later be ratified. nobody questions this border. but for the treaty to go into effect and for us to go back to normal life, what you should do is stop being one of the three or four most active countries in the nato and in the european union promoting rousseau phobia. like i said, we have very good relation ws the people of estonia. our people's are friends and politicians should be guided by this, not by some short-term political goals reflecting geopolitical interests of other countries but by the interests
of their people. thank you. >> and we are live right now from the center for strategic and international studies here in washington. we are expecting former ambassadors to come out and speak to us about global perceptions of the us. we have live coverage. this event scheduled to get under way any minute. also, this afternoon, at this hour on the floor of the senate we are awaiting for a vote about reauthorizing the house approved fisa surveillance program. a vote to move forward on that is scheduled for 5:30, 60 votes would be needed. also this week both the house and senate are working on funding the federal government past the deadline which is midnight friday. possibility of another shert resolution moving forward. we'll follow that for you. and you can watch with us live
on c-span 2 when the senators work on that tomorrow as well. the house meeting tomorrow again they'll be debating later this week a bill on abortion that timing coincides with the march for life rally which is friday in front of the supreme court. so we are waiting for this event to get under way with former ambassadors talking about how the world views the usa. and while we wait we'll show you some of washington journal. >> this week we have invited those who cover the white house and congress to join us for a discussion. john bennett who covers the
white house for roll call serves as correspondent. and covers congress for bloomberg. both of you thanks for starting on. we will start on the topic of the potential government shut down. what is the likelihood we'll see one happen? >> depends on republicans in the house are willing to vote for short continuing resolution. they have said they won't have time to reach a bill for the full spending bill for the end of the fiscal year. so in the house that means will conservatives be willing to vote for this. house republican leaders are going to meet with the house republican conference later tonight to see if that's the case. democrats are expected to not agree to a short term resolution because tle want a daca deal. then it moves to the senate because they hope they'll vote to keep the government funded
over shut down over daca. so in the senate what the republicans do and in the house democrats to keep the government funded. >> john bennett as it stands today wharks is the white house looking for on daca? >> nobody recommendly knows what the white house is looking for specifically on da kachlt the president has said he's willing and interested in making it law. and he set it on a path to determine nation legal argument that what then president obama did was not legal. he created it through an executive order. so we know that the president wants, we think we know the president wants full funding for his wall. that's anywhere between 18 and $20 billion. the president wants it in one lump sum and wants it this way. if he can get it, senator dick durbin, even senator lindsey graham tried to tell him in that nurse oval office meeting that's not how appropriations work here
in washington. that he was going to get in the graham durbin bill 1.6 billion to counter the first amounted of funding to get the wall to continue it. prototypes being built now and 1.6 would have been the next step in the program, if you will. but the president wants it all right now to call that a sticking point is putting it mildly. >> is the president willing to risk a shut down over it? >> we don't know. i think we'll know in the next couple of hours. as the president i believe he'll face reporters i think today as i anticipate as the week goes on the same thing. so far the president has said maybe there will be a shut down. so he's not ruling it out. said it over the weekend when reporters got some chances to ask some questions. so he's not ruling it ouchlt i think it comes down to his chief of staff john kelly and other advisers can convince him to see
what funding he can get for the wall. and he should it be able to sell this to the base. this shouldn't be a heavy lift. if he can get almost $2 billion for the wall. i think most folks know it takes a while to get tit to move alon. >> president blamed for the shut down blame. are democrats willing to take that blame? as far as are they willing to kind of shut down the government over this? >> historic democrats have been more reluctant to shut down the government to get their policy goals. that's sort of been seen as something that republicans are more willing to do. and in this case democrats are probably going to say, wait a second, we don't control the white house, we don't control the senate, we don't control the house. republicans are in charge of everything and shutting down the government one day before the one year anniversary of entering the white house. so i think that's democrat argument but it is technically true they do need democratic votes in the senate and that's where republicans will say all
these senators who are up in states next year they didn't help fund the government. and you read state republicans and moderate independents you'll be voting to keep them in office. are you going to keep them in office when they are just obstruct, obstruct, obstruct? >> both of the guests will be here for questions. here is the phone number. and independents 202-8,0002. tweet us as c-span. john, if i'm one of the members of the freedom kau scaucus, and looking at signing off, how much of a sticking point will it be for them? how much can they effect other republicans in this process? >> i think for them the issue is this is an opportunity to push congress and president to the right on immigration. we saw last week members of the house and the senate both parties came out of that long
meeting, the one with the 50 minute full spray and they agreed on four agenda items, daca, border security, family based migration, what republicans call chine migration and diversity visa programs. t and conservatives would like to see the end to this. and this is a chance for them to pull the president to the right. because in that same meeting we saw him leaning towards oh, yeah i could agree with what senator diane fine citizen wan diane feinstein wants a clean daca. that's not what the president campaigned on and that's when they are trying to remind him sf. >> of. >> then haiti comments last week, how much does this complicate this process? >> i think it complicates it a lot. i was thinking about this over the weekend, that at some point last thursday afternoon this felt somewhat like other shut down threats we've had in recent years. and sources i was talking to
still saying that the politics of a shutdown are bad for both parties. they didn't think it was really going to happen. but i think what happened over the weekend, that is different here, this got personal. dick durbin is very well respected. not just democrats, but a lot of republicans, they view him as an accelera a straight shooter. they don't view him as someone who lies about the president. so now you have chuck schumer making a decision to freeing members to vote for cr. do you stand by durbin? do you free members? so now you have all this personal animosity mixed up in very complicated policy and funding issues. and i do think they find a way out of this by friday night but i think it's going to be one of those weeks for sure. >> on the topic of that white house meeting still going back and forth what was said. when will we see daylight on this?
>> i don't know if we'll ever get the definitive readout of what happened. i think this is one of the situations we'll have to piece it together. you are going to have to who do you trust, is there a consistent thread in the reports? and we know right now the president said something, and there was -- he used very tough language, as he said. we know there was profanity used. we know the language was not at all flattering for haiti and african countries. i think we know that. we know the president's underlying point. he wants a merit based immigration system. and from there, you know, you get off into folks kind of reading into what he means by that. the president has not been at all clear what he means the underlying point there if this is a racial argument from the president or if this is just a policy argument. >> and john, we have seen republicans several on capitol hill go after senator durbin and his statements. is that under mining him?
is it costing a little credibility about how he remembers this meeting? >> that's an interesting back and forth. because some people are questioning what other senators are saying in the meeting. first they said they don't recall what was said. then they said senator durbin was misrepresenting. and also been some discussion of whether maybe the end of that slur was house instead of hole and maybe that's being used to sort of do oh, that's not what was said sort of thing. then we also said senator graham seemed to verify what senator durbin said. apparently senator tim scott said that's what was said. senator flake seems to be siding with durbin on that. so senators who in the actual meeting don't seem to have a consensus on what was said. and i this i in this sort of partisan era people are going to
believe the person who they usually stand with. and that's just where things will be. >> all in election year too. >> right. >> and we'll talk about that in a little bit. but let's go to calls. start with brian this morning from michigan on independent line on our guests go ahead. >> good morning. thank you. i think we should not shut it down to work on a deal. i have a question for miss john. i'm 60 years old from the detroit air yachlt my entire life i heard about slavery and now jim crow. why on earth is the black democrat congress telling black people for having illegal mexicans
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