Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s radio interview with Sputnik

June 6, 2016

Question: I would like to introduce our guest to our listeners. He is an unusual guest for us, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Good afternoon, Mr Lavrov.

Sergey Lavrov: Good afternoon. What is unusual about me?

Question: We have been waiting for you for quite a while and very much hoped that you would be able to make some time for us in your busy schedule.

Sergey Lavrov: Well, here I am.

Question: That’s why you are an unusual guest for us. Mr Lavrov, mainstream journalism promotes the idea of ​​a unipolar world. How often does your ministry run into this? Is it part of your job? Would you like to see less of that in your work?

Sergey Lavrov: I think the claim that the mainstream media is all about promoting a unipolar world is debatable, because our TV channels and agencies are quite successful in competing with this mainstream. We still need to figure out the source of this mainstream that affects hearts and minds. I think the data show that, for example, the RT channel is quite successful in winning audience share for itself. This channel has become the mainstream for many viewers and listeners.

Today, we are witnessing a fight for the use of media space, but, I reiterate, we must counter it with the facts and honest reporting. There were many forgeries and fakes in the mainstream media that you mentioned. It promotes a unipolar world. For example, they aired old footage from Iraq, pawning it off it as something that is happening now in Syria, and much more. Things like that have been done by respected companies such as CNN, followed by some vague words of apology. There are instances of forgeries being used as the main news of the day, and entire policies have been built on such forgeries.

I reiterate, I am optimistic about the role played by the Russian media in the global media space.

Question: The recent news from Germany that the German government is going to revise the country’s military doctrine confirms that there’s a war for the information field (I am referring to the so called White Paper 2016). It says that Russia’s policy, including its information policy, may pose another challenge to European security. What are our Western partners so afraid of?

Sergey Lavrov
: This topic has been mentioned in EU documents in more or less the same vein. This "demonisation" of Russia has become a fashionable trend in the EU.

With regard to Germany, I understand that this report was submitted to the German government. It hasn’t been approved yet, and has yet to be considered. I hope that the coalition government will weigh the pros and cons and, most importantly, will weigh the facts, which can in no way be interpreted as Russia planning any aggression against the EU or NATO.

Question: Will we, in turn, revise who is our friend and foe?

Sergey Lavrov: We do not want to divide the world into friends and foes. We stand for cooperation with everyone who is interested based on equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, and compromise. There may be no two identical countries, even though those who advocate the mainstream in the spirit of a unipolar world, of course, would like everyone to obey their orders. Our policy is much more responsible and reasonable. We do not force anyone to do anything. We always strive to take into account the interests of our partners and to seek agreements that reflect a balance of our and their interests. With regard to Germany, I think it is, frankly, an anomaly. Those who drafted this report jumped on the bandwagon of the unipolar world, the days of which are numbered.