Beginning of of Russian-Eritrean talks
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues, friends, we are glad to welcome you to Russia.
This is your first official visit to our country. Mr President, Eritrea has recently marked 30 years of its independence. This was when our two countries established diplomatic relations too. Allow me to congratulate you on this occasion and thank you for all the efforts to promote and strengthen relations between our countries over all these years that you have been leading your country.
Of course, trade and economic relations deserve our primary attention. I would like to note that we have a lot of potential in many areas, and we will discuss them today.
We have also expanded our political ties. Earlier this year, you received our foreign minister [Sergei Lavrov]. I would like to thank you for that. We work together within the United Nations, and have been quite effective in promoting our humanitarian ties. Several dozen students from Eritrea completed their studies in the Russian Federation, and the process carries on.
The agenda for today’s meeting includes the signing of several intergovernmental agreements. I hope that our colleagues have done their job so that we can do it.
As you know, this year Russia will be hosting the second Russia-Africa Summit. Mr President, you are among those invited to attend it. I do hope that you will have the opportunity to do that. We are delighted to have you here, Mr President, with your delegation, and I am certain that our talks today will be a success and help the Russian Federation and Eritrea step up their relations.
Welcome, Mr President.
President of the State of Eritrea Isaias Afwerki: Your Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation!
Allow me first to convey my profound gratitude to Your Excellency for the invitation and opportunity accorded to me. As Your Excellency is aware, substantive consultations on partnership were carried out recently, both during the visit of your delegation that was led by Foreign Minister [of Russia Sergei] Lavrov to Asmara, and the subsequent visit of our delegation led by his counterpart [Osman Saleh Mohammed] to Sochi. In this context, I am convinced that our consultations today will reinforce and elevate our overall partnership to a higher level.
Dear Mr President,
In my view, the global order, which is on the cusp of a radical transformation, requires objective appraisal and mutual consultations on the timeless subject matter and phenomena of paramount importance and significance. The common assessment that we undertake will, in turn, revitalise the formulation of programmes and partnership that we chart on.
The reckless ideology and unbridled acts of domination pursued in the past 30 years to impose a unipolar world order have engendered multiple crises and massive destruction. They have constituted the principal impediment to the progress of mankind.
The hallmarks and the legacy of this ideology are economic, military, industrial, technological, informational, cultural and structural, using the UN and the various international and regional organisations as malleable vehicles of domination. The specific details, in terms of spatial and temporal occurrences, can be further elaborated with incontrovertible facts and evidence.
The ideology and strategy of domination was prevailing during and before the advent of the Cold War. Nonetheless, its intensification in the past 30 years was not sudden. The forces of domination saw the fragmentation of the Soviet Union, which essentially resulted from its own internal weakness and mistakes – an unexpected opportunity that was given to them on a silver platter. This even led them to an erroneous calculus that they believe that they can henceforth dominate the world without any rival.
As it happened, they frantically set out to control the world by dividing it into spheres of influence, while also using surrogate anchors when suitable. In this respect, what they termed “containment” was one of the principal tactics and schemes in their tool box, in the strategy of international order that they mapped out and that was predicted by the ideology of domination. To all practical purposes and intents, containment is no different from a declaration of war.
The undeniable fact that containment of the economic, military, industrial, technological, informational, cultural and institutional growth of other free peoples and countries is tantamount to and cannot have practical meaning other than the declaration of war.
And what are the methodologies and tools of containment? Demonisation, ostracism, interferences, political subversion, instigation of crises, sanctions, flagrant violations of law that include open military assaults. Free peoples and countries could not succumb to these egregious transgressions. The resistance and defiance of the free peoples is indeed the primary reason why the ideology and strategy of the forces of domination did not succeed in the past 30 years.
Dear Mr President,
The Russian Federation was the primary competitor and rival of the policy of encirclement and containment by the forces of domination from the early 1990s, and its global impact in the past 30 years was considerable indeed. The Russian Federation, too, did not undertake, at the outset, all the necessary preparations for effective resistance. An integrated and comprehensive strategy of resistance was not accordingly set in motion. But with time, and as the latent policy of containment against China becomes more transparent, international awareness of the free peoples has increased.
It is imperative to expand and deepen this awareness, chart out a comprehensive strategy and concrete plans that encompass all fields, create dynamic mechanisms, marshal the necessary resources so as to ascertain the advent of and transit to a civilised international order of mutual respect, cooperation, complementarity and prosperity, where justice and the rule of law prevail. This is not an option but an obligation.
There is hope and conviction that the Russian Federation will play its appropriate role in this mission of humanity in solidarity and cooperation with the free peoples. In this spirit, I wish you all success in your journey.
Thank you for this opportunity.