Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Bolivian counterpart Fernando Huanacuni Mamani held a joint press conference after a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, at which they discussed nuclear tensions between the US and North Korea, and the situation in Venezuela.

During the press conference, Lavrov denounced plans for the “economic strangulation” of North Korea. “As for the impact on Pyongyang, in order to achieve the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, we are deeply convinced that the possibilities of economic pressure have almost been exhausted,” Lavrov said. 

“We cannot support the ideas that some of our partners continue to carry on with, and which are aimed at the literal economic strangulation of North Korea with all the negative, tragic and humanitarian consequences for the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea which that would entail,” the foreign minister added.

Regarding the recent nuclear threats made by the US and North Korea, Lavrov stated that “recently, we noted that the rhetoric has become a little calmer. Probably, it is necessary to welcome, at least, to hope, that the hotheads have cooled a little.”

SOT, Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister (Russian): “As for the impact on Pyongyang, in order to achieve the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, we are deeply convinced that the possibilities of economic pressure have almost been exhausted. We cannot support the ideas that some of our partners continue to carry on with, and which are aimed at the literal economic strangulation of North Korea with all the negative, tragic and humanitarian consequences for the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea which that would entail. We proceed from the premise that all – without exception – UN Security Council resolutions, which include very serious measures related to the return to political negotiations, have already been introduced.”

SOT, Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister (Russian): “I know the US reaction to this principle of bi-lateral freezing [North Korea halting nuclear tests and the US reducing military exercises in South Korea] is that one cannot trade something legal [US exercises] with something illegal [North Korean nuclear tests], but it is not a question of getting hung up on one’s righteousness, not to think about some misplaced ideas of prestige but the fate of this region, about the fate of hundreds of thousands of people who, according to expert estimates, might suffer if hostilities which are threatened from Washington and from Pyongyang, begin. Recently, we noted that the rhetoric has become a little calmer. Probably, it is necessary to welcome, at least, to hope that the hotheads have cooled a little.”

SOT, Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister (Russian): “We confirmed our position on the situation in Venezuela. They [our positions] are united by the need to quickly overcome the existing disagreements in the country exclusively via peaceful means, through a nationwide dialogue, without external pressure, not to mention the inadmissability of military threats to Venezuela’s internal affairs. It was sharply condemned by the overwhelming majority of Latin American states.”

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