25 April 2006, 12:12
Lavrov stresses importance of human rights concept adopted by 10th World Russian People’s Council
Moscow, April 25, Interfax – Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has supported the Declaration of Human Rights and Dignity adopted by the 10th World Russian People’s Council – the documents stating the need to establish a linkage between human rights and moral principles.
‘International relations should be based on mutual respect and tolerance in whatever concerns cultural and civilizational differences and on reliance on time-honored moral values. It has been so from of old. Any deviation from these principles led to cataclysms’, Lavrov said at the reception held on the occasion of Orthodox Easter on Monday in Moscow.
According to Lavrov, the concept of human rights proposed by the Russian Orthodox Church will make it possible to develop ‘a common denominator in approach to human rights problems’.
‘We reaffirm our European choice, but it does not imply Russia’s renunciation of her independence in foreign policy expressed, among other things, in our national identity which includes Orthodox tradition’, the minister said, adding that ‘democratic values are realized in every country with due regard for its traditions and culture of which religious convictions are an important part’.
Lavrov urged to stand ‘on the ground of common sense, to reject any monopoly over the treatment of rights and liberties, over their interpretation which denies the moral nature of man’.
Noting that all Christian truths beginning from ‘it is not by bread alone...’ have been proved by suffering in Russian history, the minister underlined that ‘our contribution to world culture is truly unique in its profound spirituality and address to the fundamental principles of life’.
‘The world needs Russia with her own identity, not a country that renounces its own roots and its own history’, he added.
According to Lavrov, the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Churches ‘to build up the spiritual and moral climate in Russian society and to educate the younger generation’ deserve profound respect and support.
The leader of Russian diplomacy also gave a high appraisal of the initiative of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia to hold a world summit of religious leaders in early July, which, in Lavrov’s opinion, is called ‘to make an important contribution to the achievement of universal human harmony’.