Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s greetings to participants in the 23rd Forum of the Potsdam Meetings, The Pandemic and Its Influence on Foreign and Security Policies

Participants in the Russian-German Potsdam Meetings, friends,

I am delighted to welcome you to the regular, 23rd forum, which is taking place, just as the majority of Russian-German dialogues, in a complicated epidemiological situation and by videoconference. I am sure that meeting remotely will not prevent the forum participants from holding an open and professional discussion on the current global priorities.

The Potsdam Meetings traditionally hit a nerve, focusing on the most important topics that worry the public. Your meeting today will be no exception. The coronavirus pandemic is becoming a key factor that can promote unity in foreign policy and the global economy and bring countries and international institutions together in the battle against very real rather than imaginary threats facing humanity. It is extremely important to get to know about expert opinions and views on this subject.

As for Russian-German ties, the point at issue is the importance of our countries’ leadership in a rapidly changing world. It is in our common power to transform a pessimistic but currently popular motto – “The world will never be the same again” – into a more ambitious and forward-looking slogan – “The world must become a better place.”

I wish all participants good health, every success in dealing with this complicated task, a good meeting and all the very best.

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