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Mikhail Kamynin: No taboo themes for Russia in G8

01.01.70

The Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesman Mikhail Kamynin gave an interview to Interfax ahead of a G8 ministerial meeting in Moscow on June 29.

Russia is ready to discuss any topical issues with G8 members, but it does not believe it is reasonable to discuss the settlement of the Abkhaz and South Ossetian conflicts, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin told Interfax on Thursday.

"We are ready to discuss any topical international issues with the partners. There are no forbidden issues for us," he said, referring to the suggestion of Western countries to discuss the settlement process in South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transdniestria, and Russian-Georgian relations at a G8 foreign ministerial meeting in Moscow.

"However, it would be reasonable to limit the G8 agenda to issues where accord is possible and real assistance can be given. We should hardly start parallel negotiations, especially at such a high level," Kamynin said.

"The G8 political agenda is so full that it should hardly be burdened with the settlement of particular conflicts, which is the concern of special international agencies experienced in such areas," he said.

"Sustainable progress within the framework of the existent settlement mechanisms, in particular those of the Georgia-Ossetia and Georgia-Abkhazia conflicts, and the emphasis on confidence-building measures, the social and economic rehabilitation of conflict zones, and the return of refugees and temporarily displaced persons would meet our common interests best," Kamynin said.

"In addition, the discussion of such delicate issues as unsettled conflicts on post-Soviet territory without the participation of their parties will hardly be efficient and fail to increase confidence," he said.

Iraq is turning into a source of terrorism and a generator of extremist ideas in the Islamic world, Mikhail Kamynin told Interfax .

"G8 countries, including Russia, are concerned about the situation in Iraq," he said in reply to a question about possible debates on Iraq at the G8 ministerial meeting in Moscow.

"If the [Iraqi] events develop negatively, the entire region may destabilize. Iraq is slowly developing from a local conflict zone into a generator of extremist feelings in the Islamic world and a source of international terrorism," he said.

"The international community should not be a detached observer, as Iraqis need external assistance as never before. It will be difficult for them to achieve radical change for the better without efficient international support to the settlement process," Kamynin said.

"Russia is ready to support all initiatives bound to develop inter- Iraqi dialogue and national reconciliation," he said.

"Nevertheless, the recently formed Iraqi government bears the main responsibility for the stabilization. Coalition forces are partially responsible for the lack of security. The new Iraqi government will have to solve difficult problems in the provision of security and social- economic rehabilitation, which have amassed over the past years," Kamynin said.

"National reconciliation should be the main task of the government," he said. "First of all, it is a matter of involving the predominantly Sunni opposition, which is related to terrorism, in a constructive political life."

Russia will draw the attention of its G8 partners to the universal nature a future decision on the status of Kosovo should have, Mikhail Kamynin said.

"The agenda of the upcoming meeting of the G8 foreign ministers includes discussions and a search for solutions to the most serious crises in the world. Kosovo is certainly one of them," Kamynin said when asked whether Russia would raise this problem at the G8 summit and whether it would tie it to the problems of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

"It [the decision on Kosovo] will be a precedent, including in looking for ways to settle the frozen conflicts in the CIS territory that you have just mentioned," Kamynin said.

"It is fundamentally important in discussing these problems to proceed from the universal nature of a decision on Kosovo, and we are attaching particular significance to this," he said.

"The talk about the uniqueness of the Kosovo case causes mistrust in the international community and produces the impression of double standards in the settlement of crises in various regions of the world, the arbitrary application of these and other rules, depending on a particular case, and digression from universal international legal standards," he said.

"The situation here is extremely clear: it is not we who are setting a precedent for other frozen conflicts but those who are seeking Kosovo's independence at any cost," Kamynin said.

The process of settling the Kosovo problem is approaching a landmark now, he said.

"Russia, as a permanent UN Security Council member, as the country holding the G8 presidency this year, and a member of the Kosovo Contact Group, is continuing to be actively involved in the process of determining Kosovo's status based on UN Security Council Resolution No. 1244 and the Kosovo Group's Guiding Principles, with the preservation of the Security Council's key role in Kosovo affairs and in making the final decision on its status," Kamynin said.

"We proceed from the priority of negotiations in making the decision, a compromise solution on Kosovo and multiple status options. It is an imperative for Russia," Kamynin said.

Expert opinion

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Le College de France
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