Press Conference with Foreign Minister on the Russian-French Security Cooperation Council

January 21, 2005

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Unofficial translation from Russian

Foreign Minister Lavrov: Esteemed colleagues, Thank you for the interest in the outcome of the fourth meeting of the Russian-French Security Cooperation Council, in the work of which the Defense and Foreign Ministers of the two countries took part.

Today we discussed at length, in practical terms, Russian-French cooperation in key aspects of the efforts to ensure regional and international security. We paid the main attention to such themes as cooperation between Russia and the EU in the fields of security and defense, to a further deepening of interaction within the Russia-NATO Council on all issues and to the carrying out of the practical tasks in counterterrorism and WMD nonproliferation at this stage. As to this last theme, we especially dwelt on the nuclear program of Iran and the situation in the Korean Peninsula. We examined specific ways to pool the efforts of Russia and France to aid in resolving the conflicts in Kosovo, the Iraq situation and that in the Middle East and Afghanistan. We also agreed our steps in the United Nations and other international organizations in jointly advancing our positions on all the above issues.

We agreed to report the results of today's meeting to the Presidents of Russia and France, since we are working on the basis of the direct instructions. We presume that their accords form the main agenda of our work.

Question: You did not directly participate in the European Troika's talks on the Iranian nuclear program, but how do you think to concretely assist this process and how do you intend to act in this connection?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: Russia together with the European Troika made a special contribution to the work with Iran with the objective of restoring its cooperation with the IAEA in full. Since last October my deputies and I had more than once visited Iran. In so doing we had exchanged our assessments with France, Britain and Germany. The result of our common efforts was, as you know, the adoption by consensus at the end of November of the resolution of the IAEA Board of Governors. The US had also joined in this consensus. Now together with the Europeans we're working to ensure that this resolution is fully implemented. For this purpose we are constantly in touch with the Iranian colleagues in Moscow and Teheran and maintain a continual contact with all the countries that are members of the IAEA Board of Governors, the nuclear powers in the first place, including, of course, the US. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the principal meaning of the recent statement of US President George W. Bush on this issue was that the president expressly reaffirmed the strong preference for the US of a peaceful political settlement of the Iranian nuclear problem. In this we are all unanimous.