Photo: Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. UN Photo/Cia Pak - Photo: 2016

Russia Cautions Against Forgetting WWII Lessons

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Tribunal decisions, which Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says, “cautions against forgetting the WWII lessons, reminds us of catastrophic consequences of the attempts to determine the fate of the world by suppressing legitimate interests of other States and peoples”.

In a statement to the UN General Assembly’s 71st session on September 23, Lavrov said: “The freedom of expression or peaceful assembly should not be used as a cover for condoning radical movements that profess the Nazi ideology and support the glorification of the Nazi and their accomplices.”

He added: “The vitality of these vicious instincts dictates the need for consistent efforts that can put a solid barrier in the way of neo-Nazism and revanchism, strengthen inter-ethnic and inter­ cultural accord, and consolidate the young generation around the ideas of justice and equality.”

This warning came ahead of the public breakdown of a diplomatic agreement between the U.S. and Russia to stop the Syrian civil war and President Vladimir Putin’s decision to pull out of a pact to dispose of nuclear material, which according to political observers, underlines the state of worst ever state of Washington-Moscow relations since the 1970s between the two countries.

Russia’s Foreign Minister indicated that the rupture over Syria goes far beyond current issues. He accused the political elites of Western countries of the “ideas of mentoring, supremacy, exclusiveness, realizing their own interests by any means”. These, he said, have been deeply enrooted in their minds “to the detriment of the efforts to promote just and equitable cooperation”.

Referring to the political elites, Lavrov said: “The outcome of arrogant attitude and feeling of their infallibility in pushing forward unilateral hazardous solutions to the most complex conflicts and crises can be observed by the example of bleeding Middle East and North Africa. As a result, the basis of world stability is being destroyed.”


Lavov said it was high time to learn lessons and prevent a slide down to a catastrophe in Syria. He recalled: “Mainly thanks to Russia’s military assistance to the Syrian legitimate government rendered at its request, it became possible to prevent the collapse of the statehood and disintegration of that country under the onslaught of terrorists.”

Russia’s engagement, he pointed out, gave an impetus to the establishment of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) with a view to starting a meaningful political process so that the Syrians could determine the future of their country themselves through an inclusive dialogue of all ethnic and religious groups.

“This non-alternative course was recorded in the UN Security Council resolutions and was embodied in recent agreements between Russia and the United States as Co-Chairs of the ISSG. We thank all parties for their support.”

The Russian Foreign Minister said: Now, it is essential to prevent disruption of these agreements and to carry out an unbiased and impartial investigation of the incidents in Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo that undermine them, even more so that there are quite a few people wishing to sabotage the agreed plans of Syrian settlement.

“It is of cardinal importance to fulfil the demand by the UN SC (Security Council) to dissociate the so called moderate opposition from terrorists, and a particular responsibility in this regard lies with the U.S. and members of the U.S.-led coalition.

“The Syrian crisis would not be resolved and the appalling humanitarian situation would not be rectified without suppressing the ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and their associate extremist groups. This is a key condition for strengthening the cessation of hostilities regime and overall national truce. It is unacceptable either to delay the inter-Syrian talks without any preconditions in full accordance with UN SC resolution 2254.”


“Ukraine, a country close to us,” said Lavrov, “has also fallen victim of those who enjoy zero­ point games; its development has been undermined by the anti-Constitutional coup and now is falling apart as a result of the new authorities’ refusal to implement the Minsk Agreement of February 12, 2015.

“It has already become obvious to all, including Kiev’s patrons that the expectations to use the Ukrainian crisis for achieving corrupt geopolitical goals have no prospects. We hope that the life itself will compel them to realize all these measures signed by the Ukrainian leaders in Minsk.”

He added: By and large, only honest implementation of these agreements would bring us closer to the establishment of space of equal and indivisible security and mutually beneficial cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic area, as it was declared in the OSCE almost twenty years ago. Neither NATO nor the EU will be able to substitute a truly collective unification of efforts in the common interests without winners or losers.

No place for hegemonism

Russia’s Foreign Minister said: Hegemonism has no place in the future if we want it to be a just future that gives peoples the opportunity to choose ways of their development. It implies the need to learn respect own’s partner and respect cultural and civilizational diversity of the modem world.

This means the return to origins – i.e. the norms and principles enshrined in the UN Charter and other instruments of this world organization.

“Our commitment to that approach was reaffirmed in the Russia-China Declaration on Increasing the Role of International Law signed on June 25, 2016. The observance of the principles of sovereign equality of States and non-interference in the internal affairs should become a measure of decency and legitimacy of any member of the world community, especially if it claims to have privileged positions in the international affairs.”

Lavrov added: It is naive to expect success in addressing such global issues as countering international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other transboundary threats without abandoning the philosophy of exclusiveness and permissiveness.

“There should be no place for double standards in fighting terrorism. Truly universal joint efforts are required to create a wide counter-terrorist front as President V. Putin proposed in this hall last year”

‘Nuclear zero’

Beside a terrorist threat, Lavrov said, Russia is seriously concerned about trends in the sphere of non-proliferation and arms control. There are attempts to replace the key objectives of maintaining strategic stability in all its components with populist slogans of “nuclear zero”.

The non-participation of a number of countries possessing nuclear arsenals in the existing treaties is not taken into account either.

“The fundamental Non-Proliferation Treaty is put to a serious test, its Parties find it more difficult to speak a common language, especially in a situation when certain nuclear powers torpedo any compromises regarding the start of the negotiations on the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and means of their delivery in the Middle East.”

Russia had consistently supported the liberation of humanity from the threat of nuclear weapons and other types of WMD.

However, Lavrov added, the advancement toward nuclear disarmament must be made with full consideration of the whole set of factors that affect strategic stability, including the creation of unilateral missile defense systems, placement of strategic non-nuclear strike weapons, threat of placement of weapons in outer space, inability to ensure the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and growing imbalance in conventional arms in Europe.


Lavrov accused NATO member countries to have brought the conventional arms control in Europe to a deep deadlock. “Our attempts to save it faced a tough ideology-driven counteraction. All ideas to come back to this issue would be meaningful only if the North-Atlantic Alliance recognized the absolute futility of ultimatums aimed at achieving unilateral advantages. We continue to be open for an equitable and mutually respectful dialogue with NATO, including within the CSTO.”

Korean Peninsula

Russia’s Foreign Minister went on to say: “It is necessary to work toward strengthening stability and equal and indivisible security in other parts of the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. The recent actions by the DPRK that violate UN SC resolutions must be stopped.

“We call on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear-missile programmes and return to the NPT regime. However, it is inadmissible to use this situation as a pretext for massive militarization of North-East Asia and deployment of another position area for U.S. global missile defense there.

“All sides must refrain from further escalation of tension and embark on the way toward politico-diplomatic settlement of the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula through the resumption of six-Party talks.”

New coalitions

Russia, said Lavrov, will continue the dialogue within the East-Asia summits on the establishment of a regional security and cooperation architecture in the APR on the non-bloc basis. A number of participating countries, including Russia, India, China and Indonesia, have submitted their considerations in this regard.

“We also invite the countries of the region to agree on the ways to implement the initiative by President V. Putin to establish an extended Eurasia Partnership with the participation of the Eurasian Economic Union countries and other members of CIS, as well as the SCO and ASEAN, and other interested States.

“I would like to underline that this initiative is of open character and implies the work on the basis of the WTO norms and principles, unlike the projects of close trade-investment blocs threatening to undermine the unity of global trade system.

“We will continue to promote the unification agenda in various international formats, first of all the UN, BRICS, the SCO, and G20. The recent summit in Hangzhou reaffirmed the status of G20 as a leading global economic and financial forum.

“We thank the Chinese Chairmanship for its efforts to effectively use this representative platform for the exchange of views on the key issues of global economy and policy for subsequent promotion of these agreements in the UN universal format.”

Paris Climate Agreement

The signing of the Paris Agreement on the prevention of climate change has become an important event in the UN activities, said Lavrov. The communication of intended nationally determined contributions towards achieving the objective of the Agreement as set out in it – to hold the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees C.

Clear rules and procedures to implement the provisions of the Paris Agreement with consideration for interests of all countries participating in the process should be developed in order to achieve success.

The launch of market and non-market mechanisms to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases as stipulated in Article VI of the Agreement is of priority in this context. In the final analysis, this would be of crucial importance for preventing the violations of competitive environment and transfer of “dirty production” from some countries to other ones, which hampers the achievement of sustainable development goals.

What the UN Charter tasked the world body with

The UN was established with a view “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and develop equitable international cooperation.

Today, this objective covers all areas of international life and human communication: from politico-military aspects of security to climate protection, from conflict settlement and peacekeeping to ensuring human rights and freedoms, from sustainable development to fair regulation in information technology, from fight against terrorism and drug traffic to combating corruption, from eradication of infectious deceases to upholding social responsibility of business and fostering scientific and technological progress.

And it goes without saying that the UN is called to promote the dialogue of civilizations, support pluralism and equality of cultures and traditions, and serve as a catalyst of progress in science and arts. In essence, it is a matter of preserving humanity in all its richness and diversity. This is the goal that should constitute the basis of our collective efforts and become an imperative for global development and an incentive for improving global governance and real democratization of international relations. [IDN-InDepthNews – 04 October 2016]

Photo: Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

IDN is the flagship of International Press Syndicate.

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