29 March 2017
Moscow: 18:08
London: 16:08

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  




Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov’s interview with Izvestia newspaper, published on February 13, 2017

Question: In 2016, a wave of terror attacks swept across Europe and the US. This year also started with attacks in Europe, and terrorism is still an issue for everyone, Russia included. Vladimir Putin has said on numerous occasions that we can overcome terrorism only by working together. When will the West understand that in order to overcome this common scourge what the world needs is to form a broad coalition?

Oleg Syromolotov: You are absolutely right: in order to fight international terrorism the world does need a broad coalition that would be guided in its actions by the UN Charter, international law and UN Security Council resolutions. Destroying ISIS is a priority as far as counter-terrorist efforts are concerned. Everyone understands that. However, countries tend to adopt different approaches to achieving this aim due to their differences, primarily disagreements on political matters. Some go as far as supporting various kinds of terrorist groups, thinking that they will be able to control them, which is a huge mistake. As a result, they tend to fall into the same trap over and over again.

We hope that with Donald Trump as the new president of the United States and the new administration, the West will change its approaches to counter-terrorism efforts. Maybe they will finally understand that this fight should be free from any double standards or hidden agendas, and that the legitimate government of a country where the counter-terrorist operation takes place cannot be excluded from relations with foreign powers.

Let me give you one example. A coordinated effort to fight radical ideology without any compromises and in full compliance with international law and UN resolutions could serve as a foundation for uniting the broad coalition. In autumn 2016, Russia submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council aimed at countering the spread of terrorist ideology, justification and instigation of terrorist activity, including through the internet. Unfortunately, our Western partners have been quite restrained in their response to our initiative, to say the least. I think that common sense and the self-preservation instinct could compel them to be more open and constructive in cooperating with Russia.

To give you an example, I can refer to my February 8 meeting in Moscow with Deputy Secretary General at the European External Action Service Pedro Serrano to discuss international counter-terrorist cooperation.

During the talks, we discussed opportunities for expanding counter-terrorist cooperation in multilateral formats, primarily within the UN, reaffirming the need for the international community to work together in fighting the global threat of terrorism, while being guided in its efforts by international law, the UN Charter and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We agreed to hold the next round of talks in Brussels.

Question: Are there any differences in the approaches to fighting terrorism adopted by Moscow and Washington? Isn’t it one of the reasons why the two countries have so far been unable to fully cooperate on this issue?

Oleg Syromolotov: As strange as it may seem, but despite the extreme terrorist threat, until recently Western countries led by the US did not even think about giving up on the double standards in their fight against terrorism, thereby undermining the tenets of international counter-terrorist cooperation and helping terrorist forces strengthen their positions.

In fact, they have been following the same scenario time and again, and were consistent and cynical in doing so. They try to consolidate their global dominance by nurturing various radical forces and pitting them against unwanted regimes. They are willing to act in bad faith and violate all agreements for a single purpose: to stir up trouble and use the crisis situation to their benefit. This short-sighted policy is lamentable, and so are its consequences, including for Western countries and their citizens. It is not that easy to put the genie back in the bottle. Just look at all the issues Europeans are now facing after certain European countries carried out geopolitical experiments in the Middle East and North Africa.

Nevertheless and despite the existing differences, Russia and the US are still natural partners in fighting terrorism. Both countries should be interested in developing and strengthening this partnership. Russia hopes to be able to establish a more meaningful dialogue in this area with Washington under the new administration. That said, there is still a lot to be done in order for both sides to begin moving towards strengthening international counter-terrorist solidarity and to stop making a political issue out of efforts to combat the global scourge of terrorism. By the way, the double standards adopted by the US are to blame for the lack of momentum in the creation as per the initiative of the Russian president of a broad counter-terrorist front under UN auspices and based on international law, with a contribution from all countries to the best of their ability and subject to agreement of the country where the counter-terrorist efforts take place.

We assume that against the backdrop of rampant terrorism it is our duty to put political differences aside and finally try to cooperate in fighting terrorism in an honest and open manner.


29.03.2017 - Russian Embassy’s press-secretary responds to a media question

Question: Can you comment on a Russian-Chinese initiative on investigating use of chemical weapons in Iraq and Britain’s reaction to it? Press-secretary: On 24 March, Moscow and Beijing put forward a draft resolution proposing that OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism in Syria to be extended to Iraq. Such an initiative reflected our serious concern over an increasing number of cases of chemical weapons use by terrorists in Iraq and the spread of WMD-terrorism throughout the region on the whole.

29.03.2017 - Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov answers questions from readers of the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty

In seeking early implementation of the Minsk Agreements we assume that a long-term solution to the problems connected with the deep crisis that has hit Ukraine can only be found by political and diplomatic means. The Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015 has been approved by the UN Security Council, which passed Resolution 2202 of February 17, 2015. We are convinced that there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreements today. The West thinks likewise. The main provision of the Minsk Agreements is Kiev’s direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk. Neither Russia, nor the new US President, nor anybody else can do for the parties to the conflict what is needed to achieve a settlement, and that is to agree with each other directly on mutual guarantees of security and the principles of building a common future.

28.03.2017 - On FCO “concern about Russian protest arrests”.

Surprised with the statement of the Foreign office. Russia respects and protects the rights of citizens to voice their concerns or protest peacefully. Nevertheless, there is a set legal procedure for arranging public events in a major city. In many cases it was followed, resulting in civilized, democratic meetings where our citizens voiced their criticism of the Government, which is normal. Unfortunately it was not always the case. Some of the self-labeled “anti-Kremlin activists” consciously misled people, provoking illegal actions, including the attack on a policeman who was wounded. Pupils and teenagers were actively recruited to participate in the event, mostly by promises of monetary reward.

28.03.2017 - Press Secretary answer to a media question on Defence Secretary Fallon statements

Question: Media report that on 27 March UK Defence Secretary Mr Fallon said that Russian behavior abroad is becoming more “assertive and arrogant”. What can you say on that? Answer: We are disappointed, though not surprised, by a string of unfounded accusations against Russia made by Mr Fallon.

28.03.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at talks with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano, Moscow, March 27, 2017

We are glad to welcome you to Moscow. We value our Italian partners’ interest in further developing Russian-Italian interaction. Italy holds a special place in the system of Russia’s foreign policy relations. Our cooperation is based on firm traditions and successful experience in many areas. Our political dialogue, including at the top level, has been developing rapidly despite recent problems, along with ties between our parliaments and cooperation between our ministries and agencies, including foreign policy ones.

28.03.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

On March 27, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov received a telephone call from UK Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson.

24.03.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, March 23, 2017

On March 23, the next round of intra-Syrian talks based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 will begin in Geneva under the auspices of the UN. The delegations of the Syrian government and Syrian opposition groups invited by the UN will continue consultations in keeping with the agreed-upon agenda, including forming trustworthy, inclusive and non-confessional governance, drafting a new constitution, using it as the basis for holding elections, fighting terrorism and other topical issues. In our view, combating terrorism is a priority topic, because, as evidenced by the recent terrorist attacks in the Damascus suburbs and Hama Province, terrorism remains the main impediment to peace in Syria.

23.03.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the entry ban to Ukraine for Russia’s Eurovision 2017 contestant Yulia Samoilova

The Ukrainian officials have, once again, proved their image of a regime infested with Russophobic paranoia and nationalist insecurities.

23.03.2017 - Condolences to Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May

Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May over the tragic consequences of a terrorist attack in central London.

22.03.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

On March 22, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. The officials, who met ahead of the fifth round of the UN-facilitated intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, continued their exchange of opinions on the entire range of issues pertaining to the settlement of the Syrian crisis.

all messages