Gevorg Mirzayan
Dmitriy Ofitserov-Belskiy
On Dec. 15, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in Moscow, after which they both talked with President Vladimir Putin. Then, on Dec. 17, Vladimir Putin held his traditional year-end press conference, during which he answered questions, many of which dealt with foreign policy issues.
21 december 2015 | 22:00

Review of the week: Kerry′s visit to Moscow and Putin′s press conference

On Dec. 15, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in Moscow, after which they both talked with President Vladimir Putin. Then, on Dec. 17, Vladimir Putin held his traditional year-end press conference, during which he answered questions, many of which dealt with foreign policy issues.

John Kerry in Moscow

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Moscow on Dec. 15. No communiqué detailing breakthrough decisions was released after his talks with Lavrov, but this does not mean that the negotiations were a failure.

First, John Kerry made it clear that the world would learn a little later about any specific agreements reached – and he was telling the truth.

On Dec. 17, the UN Security Council adopted a joint Russian-American sponsored UN resolution requiring all states to take measures to stop the sources of financing of terrorists, and in particular – to freeze assets, prohibit entry and transit, and prevent the direct or indirect supply of arms to and by persons and organizations that would be placed on the sanctions list of the UN Security Council.

Secondly, the U.S. Secretary of State came not only to find solutions, but also to seek compromises.

“The world needs that two important nations, the two leading powers, be able to find common ground and agree on the given issues,” said the head of the U.S. State Department.

Of course, he was referring to Syria and Ukraine – the two main topics of his talks with Putin and Lavrov, and his optimism was appropriate.

Theoretically, Moscow and Washington can find common ground on both issues. In Syria, both sides are interested in defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), as well as in preventing the Syrian civil war from turning into a religious or even region-wide conflict.

On the Ukrainian issue, the Americans are not interested in a new spiral of civil war in the Donbas. Although the continued low-intensity conflict will hinder the development of Russian-European dialogue, it will not lead to a Russo-Ukrainian war that might drag in Washington. For these framework compromises to turn into specific arrangements, there are needed not one, not two, but many regular meetings at the highest level.

Lukashenko – a difficult partner

The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s visit to Moscow was scheduled to take place in late November, but was canceled due to the busy schedules of both presidents. This was the official version. However, there is reason to believe that the initiator of this postponement was the Belarusian President, and this became known just before the cancelled visit.


Continue readinag at Russia Direct


23 november 2015 | 22:00

The most important Russian foreign policy events of the week (16-23 November)

Last week was devoted to the G20 Summit in Turkey, mourning for the victims of the terror attacks in France and Egypt, and the search for a joint approach to fighting international terrorism. Despite the clear commonality of the global terrorism problem and the prospects for a joint solution, each of the great powers continues to play its own game.

18 december 2014 | 21:00

Recognition Is Not a Dogma

The “Minsk process” has created a chance for Donbass to become a new proving ground for unrecognized statehood. Different options, ranging from Chechnya and Serbian Krajina to the Transnistrian experience, may be possible. Or the region may build a unique Donbass model.   

10 november 2014 | 23:00

Can Russia and NATO agree to disagree?

The main issue to be decided was the future of NATO, which had been established as a counterbalance to the Soviet Union. However, starting in 1991, the Soviet Union lost control over the events in Central and Eastern Europe. Communist governments fell, the Warsaw Pact dissolved, and the West had no impetus to engage in any negotiations or agreements with Moscow.

12 may 2015 | 10:26

The UN 70th anniversary: crucial issues and value for Russia

70 years ago, on April 25, 1945, 50 nations opened the San-Francisco Conference that eventually resulted in the establishment of the UN. The Organization became the keystone of the international security system, while its basic principles, such as supremacy of international law, sovereign equality of states and joint approach to the settlement of international problems, remain the unchanged benchmarks of Russian foreign policy throughout decades. 

What′s your opinion on this?

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