Official website of the Russian Embassy in Jamaica
Tuesday, 23-01-2018
Official website of the Russian Embassy in Jamaica
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Address: 22 Norbrook Drive, Kingston 8, Jamaica
Phone: +1 (876) 924-1048 fax: +1 (876) 925-8290
In case of emergency
situation - + 1 (876) 456-54-86
E-mail: russianembassyjamaica@gmail.com

 
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and reply to a media question at the joint news conference following talks with Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Moscow, November 24, 2017
24/11/2017

Ladies and gentlemen,

The talks with Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono were constructive and fairly detailed.

We paid primary attention to the implementation of the agreements reached by the leaders of our countries. Their contacts are fairly intensive. Quite recently, on November 10, they met on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Danang.

In accordance with the instructions given by President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, we expressed mutual interest in stepping up trade and economic cooperation, the scale of which has recently decreased. Practical ways of improving this situation will be discussed in detail at today’s meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Issues that is headed, on a par with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, by First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Igor Shuvalov.

The 14th meeting of the Russian-Japanese and Japanese-Russian committees on economic cooperation scheduled for the end of this month will help us find additional measures to enhance economic and investment ties via direct contacts between business circles of the two countries. We hope the Japanese Investor Day to be held in December will help us reach this goal as well. It will be attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev. We believe that all these events will make an impressive schedule for a regular visit of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Russian Federation that he will pay at the invitation of President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Among other things, he will take part in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum next year. We agreed to continue meeting at foreign minister level for befitting preparations for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit.

We highly appreciated the interdepartmental interaction. Consultations at the level of Security Council heads have acquired a regular character. In fact, an interdepartmental mechanism has been established under their aegis to counter terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime. Today we decided to add to the list of the functions the fight against corruption. We welcomed Japan’s joining the 2003 UN Convention against Corruption.

The mechanism of the foreign and defence ministers in the two-plus-two format has resumed its work this year. We welcomed the invigoration of military contacts. Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army Oleg Salyukov are planning to visit Japan before the end of the year.

By tradition, our diplomats are engaged in intensive dialogue. Every year our first deputy foreign ministers discuss strategic matters, and relevant departments hold regular consultations on disarmament, non-proliferation and foreign policy planning.

Our parliamentary contacts are progressing. In January 2018, the regular session of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum will take place in Tokyo and will be attended by Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs.

We have very extensive cultural and humanitarian links. Russian Seasons and the Russian Culture Festival opened this year in Tokyo. Next May, Moscow will launch the Russia-Japan cross-years.

Our cooperation is quite productive in the international arena, within the multilateral frameworks such as the UN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and ASEAN-based mechanisms. The East Asia Summit is an example of very promising areas of our work together.

We agreed to expand the UN-supported Russia-Japan joint project on the training of drug enforcement police officers for Afghanistan. The programme will now be expanded to Central Asia. We also considered opportunities for building a dog training centre in Kabul, under the auspices of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

We discussed the situation in the Asia-Pacific Region in a broader context as well as in the context of the problems accumulating in Northeast Asia because of the situation on and around the Korean Peninsula.

Like other members of the global community, Russia believes North Korea’s risky missile and nuclear weapons undertakings are unacceptable and in violation of UNSC resolutions. Along with China and a number of other states, we insist on adhering to other provisions of these resolutions as they require resuming negotiations.

Once again, Russia has drawn our Japanese counterparts’ attention to the Russia-China proposals on peaceful settlement of the North Korean and the Korean Peninsula nuclear problem. We pointed out to our partners that it is unacceptable to keep ‘loading’ the region with arms and military equipment without limits and, on the whole, to militarise the region under the pretext of countering the North Korean nuclear threat. We believe the measures taken by the United States and its allies in the region are absolutely disproportionate to what is required.

Of particular concern are the US plans, which are already being implemented, to deploy global missile defence system elements in this region. We drew attention to the extremely negative impact of these actions on security in the Asia-Pacific Region.

We are convinced that security in this region should be strengthened not through building up cooperation within exclusive military-political blocs, but on a transparent, inclusive and region-wide basis in line with the dialogue which was started as part of the East Asia Summits on security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region and was recently systematised at the ASEAN headquarters in Jakarta.

When discussing the peace treaty, we focused, per the decision of President Putin and Prime Minister Abe, on ways of practical implementation of the leaders' agreements on joint economic activities on the southern Kuril Islands. This topic is being considered through negotiations at the level of deputy foreign ministers. Two working groups have been created to address these issues more thoroughly. One group deals with commercial aspects of joint economic activities, while the other focuses on consular and logistical issues, which must be addressed for us to be able to implement corresponding projects on the islands. We supported our Japanese colleagues’ proposal to hold a meeting of the two working groups in December. We will then use its outcome to plan the date for the next round of talks led by the deputy foreign ministers, I think, early next year.

I believe the talks were very useful. Overall, the visit by Foreign Minister Taro Kono, including the talks at the Russian Foreign Ministry and the forthcoming meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Issues, will certainly be an important step towards advancing the goals set during the meetings of our leaders.

Question: As is known, following the visit of US President Trump to Japan, an agreement was reached on direct destruction of DPRK missiles and purchasing weapons from the United States by Tokyo. Was this issue discussed during today's talks? What is Moscow's reaction to these agreements? Does Tokyo allow for the possibility of resolving the Korean Peninsula crisis by force?

Sergey Lavrov: We have discussed these topics. By the way, if a question by the NHK correspondent who said “Russia condemns Japan” was correctly translated, I’d like to note that we have never said that we condemn Japan. We express our deepest concern with the evidence at our disposal regarding the fact that Japan, just like South Korea, is becoming a territory for the deployment of the global US missile defence system under the pretext of threats coming from North Korea (and in Europe, under the pretext of the Iranian threat). In fact, if you look at the map, you will see that this US missile defence system “miraculously” surrounds Russia and China.

Knowing the Americans, we have major doubts that they will agree to transfer control over any element of this global missile defence system to anyone. In Europe, they announced, for form’s sake, the creation of a NATO missile defence system, but everyone knows that all the levers related to decision-making on the functioning of this NATO system, are in the hands of the Americans. Frankly, I think this will be the case in Asia as well.

Of particular concern are the US plans, which are already being implemented, to deploy global missile defence system elements in this region. We drew attention to the extremely negative impact of these actions on security in the Asia-Pacific Region.

We are convinced that security in this region should be strengthened not through building up cooperation within exclusive military-political blocs, but on a transparent, inclusive and region-wide basis in line with the dialogue which was started as part of the East Asia Summits on security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region and was recently systematised at the ASEAN headquarters in Jakarta.

When discussing the peace treaty, we focused, per the decision of President Putin and Prime Minister Abe, on ways of practical implementation of the leaders' agreements on joint economic activities on the southern Kuril Islands. This topic is being considered through negotiations at the level of deputy foreign ministers. Two working groups have been created to address these issues more thoroughly. One group deals with commercial aspects of joint economic activities, while the other focuses on consular and logistical issues, which must be addressed for us to be able to implement corresponding projects on the islands. We supported our Japanese colleagues’ proposal to hold a meeting of the two working groups in December. We will then use its outcome to plan the date for the next round of talks led by the deputy foreign ministers, I think, early next year.

I believe the talks were very useful. Overall, the visit by Foreign Minister Taro Kono, including the talks at the Russian Foreign Ministry and the forthcoming meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Issues, will certainly be an important step towards advancing the goals set during the meetings of our leaders.

 

 

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