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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

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18.04.2016 - UNESCO resolution on preserving Palmyra - approved 8 April

UNESCO’ Role in Safeguading and Preserving Palmyra and other Syrian World Heritage Sites


13.04.2016 - Syrian future implies all-inclusiveness (By Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 31 March, Russia circulated in the UN Security Council a draft press statement, emphasizing the need to ensure that the Syrian talks in Geneva are inclusive. The main purpose of this document was to underline that all opposition groups should join the negotiations, including the Kurds. Unfortunately the Western members of the UNSC, including UK, blocked the draft by proposing amendments that run counter to the spirit of the statement. Such a position is regrettable, especially as it contradicts the International Syria Support Group's decisions and provisions of the UNSC Resolution 2254. This step is even harder to understand, since it came from our Western colleagues. Probably it was a result of the pressure by regional players, some of whom still prioritize their ambition to have a Sunni government in Syria.


06.04.2016 - "Russia’s strategy based on diplomacy backed by force" (Letter to the Editor, FT)

Sir, In his otherwise brilliant analysis “The self-induced twilight of the west” (April 4), Edward Luce has got some things wrong. Particularly, he is uncritical of the US military’s allegation of the Russian Air Force “weaponising refugees” with no evidence provided. It is well known that the exodus of refugees from Turkey to Europe started well before we intervened militarily on September 30 2015.


23.03.2016 - Letter to the Editor of The Times, sent on 22 March

For quite a while the British Government has been referring to perceived Russia/the Kremlin’s interest in the Brexit debate. Unfortunately, Oliver Kamm makes the same point in the Times (“Brexit would play into the hands of Putin”, 21 March). What all the pronouncements of this sort have in common is the claim to know better than the Russian Government where our national interest lies and what our policies are. By the way, the “Pravda” hasn’t been speaking for the Russian Government for the past 30 years.


14.03.2016 - Talking points of Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets at the launch of exhibition "Russia and the Arts"

Dear Friends, It gives me pleasure to congratulate you on the opening of the “Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky” exhibition dedicated to the 160th anniversary of the State Tretiakov Gallery. This exhibition is yet another evidence of a profound connection between our cultures. Russia and Great Britain gave the World a plethora of great artists and works. In our country, works of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, Bernard Shaw, Arthur Conan-Doyle and other British classics are widely known. I know that in Britain they take no lesser interest in writings of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov or music by Piotr Tchaikovsky and Dmitry Shostakovich. The new BBC version of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” is a great example of such continuing mutual fascination.


15.02.2016 - Russian Embassy representative’s comments on Prime Minister David Cameron’s statements on Russia in Hamburg

Media question: Speaking the other day in Hamburg, Prime Minister D.Cameron referred to the perceived "Russian threat" as a reason for Britain to stay in the European Union, whatever the outcome of the alleged "sham" talks on EU reform and terms of British membership. What would you say on such a disingenuous attempt to win the upcoming EU referendum on Russia’s back? ' Answer: It became fashionable ever since the Bush Administration’s "axis of evil" to juggle with such a "troika" of threats to meet domestic and foreign policy objectives. As to our British partners, they made us part of the construction comprising "Islamic State" and Ebola. Now, like in the Lego kids game, the Ebola brick is replaced with North Korea. And the reason is our differences over Ukraine. As to the Crimea, it is a reunion. As to East Ukraine, the people are fighting a nationalistic regime for human rights of the minorities and an autonomy. All of it is about Ukraine and has nothing to do with the Baltic or any other states. So, the notion of a "Russian threat" to Europe is a false one. The real and immediate threats to Europe are different, those are the Eurozone and migration crises. Russia has not got anything to do with neither of them. The attempts to drag Russia into the British domestic debate on whether to stay in the EU does not make credit to the present Tory Government. We just wonder what other domestic problems the Government would wish to resolve at Russia’s expense.


12.02.2016 - Alexander Yakovenko for RT

Russia and the United Kingdom - these two powers, for centuries, have been tied into the most complicated relations: enemies at one time, and yet allies and cooperators at another. But now the temperature between the two is steadily going down, with Britain leading the anti-Russian sanctions and, just recently, coming out with allegations of Moscow’s involvement with a death of former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko. What’s pushing London to make such statements? Does the Cold War-like vector of Cameron’s policy resonate with public opinion? How much is this public opinion is shaped by the voice of mainstream media? And, finally, is there a hope for a thaw? We ask the Russian Ambassador to the UK. Alexander Yakovenko is on Sophie&Co today.


12.02.2016 - Opinion: credibility of British Litvinenko Judgment Doubtful (Eurasia Review, By William Dunkerley, February 10, 2016)

A dark cloud of suspicion still hangs over a 2006 British murder mystery. The Litvinenko affair started as a London spy mystery. It made top headlines back in the day. Riveting allegations claimed Alexander Litvinenko died of polonium poisoning ordered by Russian president Vladimir Putin. Now almost ten years later, the mystery has evolved into a government political scandal. After years of false starts and inaction, an official inquiry was finally called in 2015. Getting to the bottom of things was its ostensible purpose.


11.02.2016 - Opinion: Litvinenko and the Demise of British Justice (by James O'Neill, Dissident voice)

The publication on 21 January 2016 of the report by British Judge Sir Robert Owen on the death of Alexander Litvinenko was predictably seized upon by anti-Russian elements as confirmation of their conviction that Russia in general and President Putin in particular were the personification of modern day evil.


05.02.2016 - Opinion: six reasons you can't take the Litvinenko report seriously (by William Dunkerley, the Guardian)

Inquiry points the finger at Vladimir Putin and the Russian state, but its findings are biased, flawed and inconsistent. An inquiry into the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in the heart of London in 2006 has concluded that he was “probably” murdered on the personal orders of Vladimir Putin. This is a troubling accusation.


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