Official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova
Photo: Andrey Minaev
– They report that the train with Kim Jong-un has already crossed the Russian border and is approaching Vladivostok. What does Russia expect from this visit? How do you assess the level of relations between Russia and the DPRK today?
– As for North Korea, you know our tradition; the Presidential Administration comments on all summits and summits. But our relations are developing in a number of areas. We maintain relations with this country. We see what Westerners have been doing for many years around the situation on the Korean Peninsula. By and large, we were one of the few who, throughout all these years, revealed the etymology of the crisis in this region, calling a spade a spade. And showing that this is not just a historical conflict, but that it has a modern background in the form of endless provocations of America in the waters, in the form of naval exercises and so on. Now these assessments of ours are working, among other things, in our favor. Because they demonstrate our impartiality and purity of analysis, its accuracy.
– The UN General Assembly will take place soon. Today this platform has not yet completely outlived its usefulness?
– No, of course, you can’t say that. Understand that there are countries of different scale: not only in territory, but also in economy and population. And there are countries for which the rostrum of the General Assembly, for many years, continues to be the only opportunity to speak on equal terms with great powers. Countries should have the opportunity not just to wait at the entrance to some club of the elite – whether they will call or not, as, for example, happens with some world monetary institutions or closed and semi-closed discussion clubs. All countries should have the opportunity to raise their voice on fundamental issues on an equal basis with others.
– Western media have so far reported in leaked format that America is close to transferring long-range missile weapons to Kyiv. How will Russia react?
– Arms supplies, as you understand, are not just a destabilizing, but a conflict-provoking factor. Let me remind you that deliveries carried out by the European Union violate a huge number of documents that the Europeans themselves initiated at one time. Let me remind you that a number of them directly say that if arms supplies contribute to the escalation of an armed conflict, they cannot be carried out. They violate everything that they themselves have developed. Now I’m not talking about specific types of weapons, I’m talking globally. All this will lead to even greater casualties. “War to the last Ukrainian” has turned from a meme into a real fact.
This will also have implications for the destruction of world economic ties. Because if the West is so worried about the problem of grain supplies, or overcoming poverty, or helping those in need, then it is impossible to contaminate Ukrainian soil with depleted uranium shells, introduce additional restrictions on the passage of Russian grain to world markets and further harass the states of the world with threats of severing ties with our country. At some point, in my opinion, they need to make a decision. Because the things they do and say contradict each other.
– In recent days, much attention has been drawn to the situation in Armenia, in Nagorno-Karabakh. Is there a chance for a peaceful way out of the current impasse?
– This peaceful chance was recorded in three documents that were developed with the mediation of Russia by the parties to this really very complex, already very old and, unfortunately, conflict that has lasted to this day. In recent years, thanks to, I emphasize, the efforts of Moscow and the Russian President personally, it has moved into the category of settlement. Since everyone has agreed, and since they have reconfirmed the relevance of these documents and their historical role many times since 2020, then we just need to implement them.
As for rhetoric. You know, just two days ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov commented on this rhetoric, which we periodically hear from different parties – both from people in power and from people who represent, as it were, political science circles. The rhetoric should be one that helps resolve the situation. Everyone has already learned to kindle, set fire, and separate. Not everyone knows how to reconcile, help, restore, unite. This is what we should strive for.
– In Europe today we see that parties that advocate dialogue with Russia are gaining weight. In Germany, for example, this is the “Alternative for Germany” or in Slovakia, where elections will soon take place, the party of Robert Fico. Is it possible to repair relations with the European Union if such conditionally “pro-Russian” parties come to power there?
– You know, I agree 100 percent that there is no need to look for pro-Russian parties in Europe. But these are, indeed, people who have a real view of things and work in the interests of their own countries. It is in the interests of their country to develop relations with those who do this on a mutually respectful and mutually beneficial basis. It is in their country’s interest to have stable relations. It is in the interests of their country to build a pan-European system not even of security, but of coexistence. Therefore, we have always separated ourselves from regimes that make decisions due to the imposition of these pseudo-goals and objectives by NATO, primarily the United States. We have always distinguished and separated these anti-Russian, Russophobic sentiments imposed by the regime in these countries from the real interests and aspirations of the people of these countries. And when we call someone unfriendly, we are talking about those who either develop or implement anti-Russian decisions, and not those who become hostage to the decisions of their own governments.
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