29 september / 2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s introductory remarks at a meeting with US experts led by Dimitri Simes

Dimitri, colleagues,

We are happy to have this additional opportunity to exchange views with prominent American political scientists.

I know that one of the reasons you are here in Moscow is to participate in a conference on Russia-US relations organised by MGIMO University and the Centre for the National Interest. It is gratifying to note that, apart from US leaders, there are also other Americans who are not indifferent to how these relations proceed. We are open to any forms of mutually beneficial cooperation, and our American partners know this.

We are perfectly aware of the anomaly that has emerged in the US political system following the results of the election, which the Democratic Party has been unable to get over. We do not accept attempts to blame Russia for all negative developments in the United States as part of this discussion. I believe that any reasonable person will accept this axiom. Instead of exaggerating the situation, we have a realistic view of it, and we understand that this stage must end. I am confident that the wisdom and pragmatism of the American people will eventually prevail.

We are facing a multitude of issues that must be addressed together. Our countries have a direct stake in this, as does the entire international community. Our cooperation on Syria shows that it is possible to set aside disagreements and focus on common interests. Of course, this cooperation is not problem-free because we don’t see everything the same way, naturally. There are a great many other issues, including non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism in the Middle East and beyond, as well as many other things that would only benefit from honest and open cooperation between Russia and the United States. I am confident that the entire world expects this, and that it would breathe a sigh of relief were such cooperation to be established.

Certainly, we consider it very useful at this time to hear the thoughtful views of independent American political scientists. As such, we value today’s meeting very much.

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Sergey Lavrov (speaking after Dimitri Simes’ introductory remarks): This is exactly why I said that I am happy that, apart from the US leader, there are other people who are interested in improving our relations.