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Lavrov stresses Russia, West have huge prospects in joint anti-terror campaign

July 13, 2017, 18:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian top diplomat comments on the relations between Moscow and Western states

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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Russia and the West have enormous potentials to join efforts against international terrorism, but these potentials should be used correctly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday speaking at the Korber Foundation.

"Security should not be approached irresponsibly," Lavrov said. "When not tabloids, but politicians in office in their countries begin introducing scenarios of a military conflict between NATO and Russia to the public, it is getting dangerous rather than just alarming."

"We proceed from the fact that the prospect for peaceful cooperation between Europe and Russia in a wide variety of spheres, from trade to energy and a joint war on terror, is enormous," Lavrov noted. "The main thing is to use it correctly."

Lavrov pointed out that such political giants as Charles de Gaulles and Helmut Kohl would talk about a need of a broad partnership with Moscow.

"In his book Helmut Kohl noted that it is of vital importance to draw Russia in for a stable security system in Europe," he said.

Talks on sanctions

Russia confirms that it will not interfere in any negotiations on removal terms for unilateral sanctions, Lavrov went on. 

"I want to confirm once more that Russia will not get itself involved in negotiations on removal terms for sanctions," the Russian foreign minister said. "We had to reciprocate, as you know, and go ahead with solving Russia’s development tasks proceeding from the need to free ourselves from the dependency on those two turned out to be unreliable partners and those who, as it emerged, are ready to sacrifice their national interests for the sake of block interest and geopolitical games. It is sad that Europeans have to pay the price, and pay by destroying the quality of ties with our country, the ties that were carefully supported by most sagacious and responsible continent leaders for decades."

Lavrov stressed that sanctions and unfair political and economic competition negatively affected the world stability.

"A sharp increase of unfair competition in the world politics and economy also has a very destructive effect," he said. "The use of this explicit form of protectionism, like unilateral restrictions, is not just illegal and runs counter to international laws and the principles of the World Trade Organization, but also shatters confidence in international affairs, hampers organization of constructive work to overcome common current problems and often hits the initiators of such unilateral sanctions."

The Russian foreign minister reiterated that the introduction of sanctions was the prerogative right of the UN Security Council which used it only to support world peace and security. That said, the minister noted that Russia was ready to renew relations with the EU, but would become more cautious in case Europeans renewed their adversarial intentions. "Those who know Russians understand that it is not typical of us to take offences and hold grudges," Lavrov said. "If the European Union realizes the need to return to normal relations one day, we will return the favor. We will advance cooperation at speeds and levels that our partners will be ready for. Still, I think, we will preserve a safety net for possible new relapses in confrontation."

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