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 has been with SRAS since 2003. He holds an M.A. in Theatre and a B.A. in History from Idaho State University, where his masters thesis was written on the political economy of Soviet-era censorship organs affecting the stage. He lived in Moscow from 2003-2022, where he ran Moscow operations for SRAS. At SRAS, Josh still assists in program development and leads our internship programs. He is also the editor-in-chief for the SRAS newsletter, the SRAS Family of Sites, and Vestnik. He has previously served as Communications Director to Bellerage Alinga and has served as a consultant or translator to several businesses and organizations with interests in Russia.

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Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov leads SRAS' Research Services, performing remote archive research and consultations for researchers around the globe. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He also studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and taught Russian at West Virginia University. As a journalist, he has reported in both Russian and English language outlets and has years of archival research experience. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the “real Russia” which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei also contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS Family of Sites.

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