Current dynamics of Russian-Turkish relations

Transcript of Remarks by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov at Meeting with Members of Turkeys Northern Caucasus Diaspora, Istanbul, September 2, 2008

Many thanks for your suggestion to meet here in Istanbul with members of the Diaspora of our brotherly North Caucasus peoples.

We very much appreciate the understanding which the various organizations represented by you have shown towards what had happened in the Caucasus. You know how the events developed after the treacherous, in violation of all the norms of international law, aggression of Tbilisi against South Ossetia. I will not recapitulate them. You know what measures Russia took by order of the President first to stop this aggression, second to prevent its repetition and third to ensure not only the security but also the very possibility of survival of the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. We took the only possible decision in this situation by recognizing the independence of these republics.

From now on we will guarantee the security of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, do everything to ensure that war never comes to their land anymore and develop allied relations with these two new states. I know about the position you have voiced in support of these actions of the Russian Federation and I would like to express my gratitude for that. I also know that you have displayed an initiative to render humanitarian aid to these two republics, which have found themselves in trouble and on the verge of humanitarian catastrophe. I would also like to convey our sincere gratitude for your contribution to the efforts which the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are undertaking with support from the Russian Federation to return to peaceful life.

We have today discussed all these questions with my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mr. Ali Babajan. We know that you as part of Turkish society convey your position to Turkeys leadership. I think that this is a very important factor in the development of the entire situation.

Once again thank you very much.