Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov, Foreign Intelligence Service Director Mikhail Fradkov, and permanent member of the Security Council Boris Gryzlov.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Mr Lavrov will tell us about the consultations in Paris. Let’s start with this. Please, Mr Lavrov.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: On the whole, it was not useless because even despite certain wrangling during the discussion, the main outcome was the acknowledgement of the fact that there is no alternative to complete fulfilment of the Minsk Agreements. First and foremost, the acknowledgement by our German and our French partners of the fact that the overwhelming part of the Minsk provisions should be implemented through direct dialogue between authorities in Kiev and Donetsk and Lugansk.
I can’t say that we have resolved all the problems because this should be done directly by the Contact group and the working subgroups created. I will report on that in more detail later, but on the day of our meeting, a report on the taps [by the United States of the French leadership] was published, and this gave rise to unrest in France so this was another thing that distracted our attention.
Vladimir Putin: How will this scandal end?
Sergei Lavrov: Frankly speaking, I think that Germany’s example [the US special services wiretapping the German leadership] gives the answer: I think that both sides will try to blanket the scandal and forget about it.
Vladimir Putin: That is what would happen.