The key to providing security and safety in Europe is in expanding cooperation and restoring trust, and not in deploying new NATO bases and military infrastructure near Russia’s borders, which is what is taking place now.
We will respond appropriately to such aggressive steps, which pose a direct threat to Russia. Our colleagues, who are trying to aggravate the situation, seeking to include, among others, Ukraine and Georgia in the orbit of the alliance, should think about the possible consequences of such an irresponsible policy.
We need a new, positive agenda aimed at collaboration and attempts to find common ground. Of course, I discussed this during my meeting with the President of the United States, Mr Trump.
With our views being different on many matters, we agreed that Russia-US relations are deeply unsatisfactory and in many ways even worse than during the Cold War.
Of course, it would be naive to believe that the problems that piled up over years would be resolved in a matter of several hours. No one was counting on this. However, I believe that we have embarked on a path to positive changes.
Importantly, a full-fledged summit with an opportunity to talk directly has finally taken place. It was overall successful and led to productive agreements.
We will have to wait and see, of course, what turn the events will take, all the more so as certain forces in America are trying to downplay and disavow the results of the Helsinki summit.
To digress from the main subject, I would like to say a few words on a personal note, so to speak.
We see that there are forces in the United States that are willing to sacrifice Russia-US relations to promote their ambitions amid the domestic political strife in America. They are ready to sacrifice the interests of their businesses, which are losing multimillion-dollar contracts and the Russian market in general, as well as jobs in the United States, even though not many, but still there are jobs in place as part of cooperation with Russia. We are talking about tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands, of jobs.
They are ready to sacrifice the interests of their allies in Europe and the Middle East, in particular, those of the State of Israel. Among other things, we discussed security at the Golan Heights during the operation in Syria. Apparently, no one is interested in it. They are ready to sacrifice even their own security.
I would like to say that the New START Treaty will expire in 2021. Generally speaking, we could have lived without it even several years ago, but we took the correct step when we signed it. Unless we start working right now to coordinate its extension, it will cease to exist in a year and a half. We will simply not have this treaty.
When I spoke about these forces, you know, this does not fit our political philosophy, because we have always been taught that officials working in the interests of the state, of society must think above all about and give priority to these fundamental interests. Unfortunately, there are forces in the United States that put their narrow group and party interests before national ones.
Our famous satirical writers once wrote about such people, “Miserable, wretched people!” But this is not quite so, at least not when it comes to this case. These are not miserable or wretched people. No, they are powerful and strong people who can shove – sorry for the mauvais ton – unbelievable and illogical stories in the face of millions of their citizens. Yes, they can really do this.
I am not saying this to scold or commend anyone. Absolutely not. I am saying this so that we take this into account in our practical work in the American direction. These are the facts of modern life,
Nevertheless, Russia is open to further contacts with the United States on an equal and mutually beneficial basis. This is what not only our people but the world as a whole need. As the world’s largest nuclear powers, we have special responsibility for strategic stability and security.
Colleagues, let me say a few words on a different topic. The 2018 FIFA World Cup ended just a few days ago. Not only the heads of state and government from many countries visited Russia, but also, and most importantly, hundreds of thousands of football fans from all across the world, who saw with their own eyes the real Russia: open, friendly and modern.
This is an obvious success and a breakthrough in what is known as public diplomacy. This is attributable, among other factors, to your contribution to preparing this large-scale event. I would like to thank you for your efforts.
Colleagues, it is obvious that the workload for the Foreign Ministry’s central office and all of Russia’s embassies will not subside moving forward. There is a lot of work for you ahead, and each and every one of you has immense responsibility.
Make no mistake: the country’s leadership remains committed to ensuring the material wellbeing and enhancing the professional status of diplomats, as well as improving social security for Ministry workers. A number of decisions has been taken to this effect.
At the same time, some sensitive matters, including that of pay, social guarantees for family members, retirement pensions and housing, have yet to be addressed. Of course, the Government will work on it.
I would like to ask the Government to keep these matters under control and prevent any formalistic or bureaucratic approaches. Let me emphasise that these efforts are aimed at ensuring that diplomats can exercise their professional duties in an enabling environment, which is extremely important in terms of increasing the efficiency of our foreign policy efforts in general.