Sergey Lavrov on US-Russia Relations

This resource looks at Russian news broadcasts and presents each with rhetorical and contextual analysis as well as a brief vocabulary list aimed at intermediate-level Russian students. We hope that these will be of interest to anyone hoping to build Russian language skills or to better understand policy, policy implementation, and policy spin in Russia.

According to a 2016 poll by the independent Levada Center, 80% of Russians view television as their primary source of news. The same Levada poll, however, shows that only 41% trust the news as an objective source of information. The broadcasts sampled here are from Russia’s most-watched channels: First Channel and Russia Channel.

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First Channel gave a very short report on statements made by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on US – Russia relations. The report maintains a flat, matter-of-fact tone while starting negatively and ending on a positive note.

First, the main negative arguments were framed by recent events in Venezuela, where the US and Russia have been at opposing ends. While the US has actively worked to bring down the Maduro government, Russia has actively supported it. Lavrov was quoted as saying that the US intends to “drown and press” other countries “for the sake of maintaining its exclusivity in the world.”

The report then shifted, however, to positive aspects of the two countries’ relationship. Despite all this, between Moscow and Washington, there are disagreements, but productive contacts continue including on issues such as space, Afghanistan, and the Korean Peninsula.

Phrases to watch for:

особенности внешней политики – features of foreign policy
топить и прижимать другие страны – drown and press other countries
ради сохранения в мире своей исключительности – for the sake of maintaining its exclusivity
наглядная иллюстрация – evident illustration
не оставляют попыток свергнуть режим – continue attempting to overthrow the regime
получили перевес – got the advantage
разногласия есть, но контакты продолжаются – there are disagreements, but contacts continue

About the Author

Josh Wilson

Josh Wilson is the Assistant Director for The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) and Communications Director for Alinga Consulting Group. In those capacities, he has been managing publications and informative websites covering geopolitics, history, business, economy, and politics in Eurasia since 2003. He is based in Moscow, Russia. For SRAS, he also assists in program development and leads the Home and Abroad and Challenge Grant scholarship writing programs.

Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov has reported on political and social issues for the Russian press as well as American outlets such as Russian Life, Worldpress.org, and Triangle Free Press. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the "real Russia" which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and went on to study TESOL and teach Russian at West Virginia University. He is currently working on an MA from St. Petersburg State in International Relations. Andrei contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS site, and is an overall linguistics and research resource. He additionally helps coordinate activities for our students in Moscow.