18 апреля / 2016

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and responses to media questions at a joint news conference following the 14th meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC), Moscow, April 18, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have held the 14th meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China. The meeting was held in a friendly and trust-based atmosphere, which is common for our tripartite dialogue.

We exchanged views on all key global agenda issues, including politics and economics. Our shared opinion is that the current rapid changes caused by the formation of a polycentric world architecture dictate the need for stepping up our collaborative work centred on finding the best answers to numerous challenges. This work is based on international law, the central role of the UN, and our mutually respectful partnership.

We have confirmed the interest of our three countries in furthering our cooperation across various multilateral venues, including the UN, the East Asia summits, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), and the ASEAN Security Forum. We have also agreed to strengthen the positions of the BRICS and the SCO, which represent a new type of association between states. We have expressed our support for India's presidency in the BRICS, and China's presidency in the G20 in 2016.

We have discussed the goals of our respective countries and other BRICS members, as well as our allies in the G20 to continue our efforts to promote the reform of the international monetary and financial system. In particular, we have discussed prospects for expanding our cooperation in responding to cross-border security threats, primarily terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, as well as the possibility of terrorist groups getting access to weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons.

We have similar positions with regard to the Middle East and North Africa. Likewise, we discussed the situation in Afghanistan, and the Ukraine crisis settlement based on strict compliance with the Minsk agreements.

We focused particularly on maintaining peace and security in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR), which is steadily establishing itself as a driving engine of the global economy and politics. We have agreed to step up collective efforts of our three countries to promote the formation in the Asia-Pacific of an open and inclusive architecture of equal and indivisible security for all, which relies on generally accepted international legal principles. Our three countries work shoulder to shoulder during the consultations that take place within the East Asia summits with a view toward elaborating a generally acceptable legally binding document. We have agreed to make this work our priority.

Russia operates on the premise that the logic of indivisibility applies not only to security, but to the global economic space as well. This is the philosophy that we, unlike the proponents of "closed" alliances, follow as we carry out the Eurasian integration project. We are not setting the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in opposition to other integration forums. Instead, we are advocating their harmonisation in the interests of pooling the resources of all Greater Asian states. In this regard, we discussed with our Indian and Chinese counterparts ways to implement President Putin's initiative to form a broad economic partnership within the EAEU, the SCO, and ASEAN based on principles of equality and mutual advantage. The ongoing consultations between India and the EAEU, and the EAEU and China on harmonising the mechanism to facilitate the economic partnership are an important contribution to this effort.

The talks confirmed the relevance of the Russia-India-China dialogue, the shared focus on making it work in the interests of our respective countries and nations. Our common perspective on the international situation and the tasks involved in further deepening the tripartite cooperation will be outlined in a joint communiqué to be released following our meeting.