Russian minister of foreign affairs cites partnership, shared challenges of Russia and United States in talk

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Russian minister of foreign affairs Sergey Lavrov lauded the promising partnership between his country and the United States on September 20 when he spoke at a dinner at the Hoover Institution.

"Moscow and Washington are tied together by so much," Lavrov said. "We both have a special responsibility for the future of the world. This partnership needs to move now to positive action. Of immediate concern is international terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime. It makes no sense to try to respond to these threats and challenges on a unilateral basis. An effective response to threats and challenges is only possible through collective efforts of the entire world community."

Foreign Minister Lavrov was introduced by George P. Shultz, former U.S. secretary of state and the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

"Due to the shock of September 11, the world has changed forever," Lavrov told the group of 300 at his talk. "We have abandoned ideology in favor of common sense. The new [Russian] republic has found itself on the side of healthy conservative forces in the world community.

"There are no places now for Byzantine politics. Everyone understands that Russia in the post-Soviet era cannot be developed without transparency, mutual respect, and due regard between groups and parties.

"The ideological approach is an obstacle and we know that we need a great deal of tolerance and respect.

"We understand the United States has a legitimate interest in the pos-Soviet Russia, and we, too, only want the methods to promote interests to be transparent.

"Democracy and the market economy have no alternative," Lavrov said. "We made the [economic and political] changes on our own and only we can guarantee [these changes]."

Lavrov also paid tribute to the works of Alexis de Toqueville, whose writings and philosophy provide the foundation of much thinking around the world about democracy. He complimented the Hoover Institution for its long and renowned archival collection and preservation of Russian materials and artifacts.

Lavrov was in the Bay Area at the end of a United States tour, which started with attending the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York with Russian president Vladimir Putin.