Didier Reynders meets with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov

date: 15 October 2013

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met today with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, who is spending the day in our country in the framework of Belgian-Russian relations.

The two ministers emphasised that relations between the two countries are excellent and they are determined to sign a 3-year Russian-Belgian action plan soon. They also discussed the Joint Commission between the Russian Federation and the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union, which will meet in Brussels in November.

The two ministers then went on to discuss international matters such as relations between the European Union and Russia, the EU Eastern Neighbourhood, and Iran and the situation in Syria, both on a diplomatic and humanitarian level. Human rights issues were also raised, i.e. the status of non-governmental organisations and LGBTQ rights. Lastly, the seizure of the Arctic Sunrise was also discussed.

Sergey Lavrov gave a lecture at the Egmont Institute, the Belgian diplomacy think tank, before a group of approximately 500 people on “the role of Europe in a period of change”. A debate took place after his speech, during which he emphasised the importance of international law and the UN framework, which are also key principles of Belgian foreign policy.