Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to questions following his visit to Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, October 12, 2021
Question: Our Western partners keep surprising us. Now the British media has accused Russia of stealing the formula for the AstraZeneca vaccine. As usual, they did not offer any evidence. Is this just the next step in the information war against our vaccines?
Sergey Lavrov: As for our British partners and the majority of our other Western partners, nothing surprises me anymore. I don’t think anyone will take such groundless accusations seriously. There were many similar statements, but I haven’t heard that we were accused of stealing the AstraZeneca formula.
I remember there were many cases when AstraZeneca caused negative side effects, such as thrombosis. Sputnik V has never led to such consequences. I think all those who are interested will make conclusions themselves.
Question: Will Russia render humanitarian aid to Afghanistan? Will the Taliban come to the meeting in the Moscow format?
Sergey Lavrov: The Moscow format meeting is scheduled for October 20. Preparations for it are underway. Now we are receiving responses from those who were invited to attend this meeting, including the Taliban. I hope they will understand the importance of this meeting.
As for humanitarian aid, we and a number of other countries want to suggest at the Moscow meeting holding a conference on humanitarian and other assistance to that country under the aegis of the UN.
Question: What does Russia think about the actions of China, which has recently resumed its attempts to reunite with Taiwan? Do we see them as a threat to regional security?
Sergey Lavrov: Russia, like the overwhelming majority of other countries, considers Taiwan to be part of the People's Republic of China. We have proceeded and will proceed from this premise in our foreign policy.