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Lavrov recalls case when Madeleine Albright was persuaded to tone down statement on Cuba

September 14, 2015, 10:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The case concerns the UN statement on a plane shot down by Cuba for violating its airspace
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Sergey Lavrov (left) and Madeleine Albright (right) seen at a session of the UN Security Council (archive)

Sergey Lavrov (left) and Madeleine Albright (right) seen at a session of the UN Security Council (archive)

© AP Photo/DAvid Karp

MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said in an interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman for his TV film "United Nations - 70 years" from the "Formula of Power" series that one particular case was very memorable from the times of his service as Russia’s permanent representative at the United Nations.

The case was connected with long hours of work on the statement on Cuba, Lavrov said. "It happened in the middle of 1990s. I just came to New York, only a year or a year-and-a-half passed since I came there," the foreign minister continued. At the time, Cuban emigrants from Florida sometimes flew by on small planes and threw brochures over Cuba, thus violating the airspace of the country. "Cubans persistently protested, disseminated notes of protest, warned that next time they would physically defend the airspace of the sovereign state," Lavrov reminded.

"Cubans shot down one plane. It was nighttime in Moscow at the time. US Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright called an urgent meeting of UN Security Council and demanded to condemn the Cuban government for the act of terrorism," the foreign minister said adding that "wordings were very tough."

"With colleagues from our mission, together with Chinese colleagues, with several other UN Security Council members from developing countries, we worked to make the statement more moderate, so that it does not predetermine the investigation and does not groundlessly accuse anyone," Lavrov added. As a result, they managed to compose the text that even the Cuban government praised later, he noted.

"This is probably what I remember very well because this work lasted for many hours. Albright went to call Washington, but in the end, we persuaded her," Lavrov concluded.

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