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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Russian Federation
16 February 2006



MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

INFORMATION AND PRESS DEPARTMENT

_______________________________

32/34 Smolenskaya-Sennaya pl., 119200, Moscow G-200; tel.: (095) 244 4119, fax: 244 4112
e-mail: dip@mid.ru
, web-address: www.mid.ru


Unofficial translation from Russian
Transcript of Remarks and Replies to Media Questions by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov After the Russia-EU Troika Session Held in Vienna on February 15, 2006


...

Question: What position will Russia hold if Hamas does not heed Middle East Quartet decisions?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: We are now doing everything to ensure that it heeds them. Therefore once again in this question I discern an attempt to artificially prognosticate a new crisis. We shall be seeking to ensure, and this was affirmed today in the course of the talks, that Hamas heeds the Quartet's position and moves in the direction which is indicated in it, especially as it is not merely the opinion of the four Quartet members, but the opinion of the overwhelming majority of other countries, including leaders of Arab states.

...

Question: ... Very soon you will have a meeting with some leaders of Hamas in Moscow. As you know, the EU still considers Hamas a terrorist organization. How can you solve this problem?

Foreign Minister Lavrov (speaks after Plassnik): ...

As for Hamas, I want to be clearly understood. Politics may take on different forms. One of the forms is to print statements and then tell journalists that we hold a tough, consistent position, which you can read. The situation in the Middle East is too serious to be treated condescendingly. Russia wants that the statements and approaches of the Quartet, agreed upon in this statement, would not remain on paper but would be realized in practice. This won't happen overnight. It will take time. This is not easy, but unless we do something, unless we draw Hamas into the process, nothing will change. And it has come to power as a result of legitimate, fair and free elections. We would like to take steps following our Egyptian colleagues, who have already begun contacts with Hamas, and will continue acting in this direction. I want to say that responsible people should approach this situation proceeding from whether we desire that something be done in order not to jeopardize the future of the peace process or we want to stick to the documents which are not being implemented.



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A video recording of the press conference is posted on the Russian MFA's Web site in the Video section (http://www.mid.ru).

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