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

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

16.03.2017

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ statement on Syria

We have taken note of the statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made on March 14 at a high-level thematic discussion on Syria at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Having appropriated the role of international arbiter, the high commissioner claims that the situation in Syria is “the worst man-made disaster the world has seen since World War II” and that as a result of the armed conflict, “ the entire country has become a torture-chamber.”

We have first-hand experience of attempts to rewrite history to suit the political situation of the moment. This phenomenon is characteristic of many Western countries. The high commissioner is in effect trying to do the same thing: blame the Damascus authorities for fueling the war in Syria. According to him, vetoes at the UN Security Council have repeatedly pushed back hope for an end to “this senseless carnage.” Meanwhile, he turns a blind eye to the fact that right from the start, this conflict was fomented and fueled by outside forces. He does not use the term “terrorism” at all, and tries to portray terrorists as “victims of circumstance,” which is completely unacceptable.

It is telling that Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein’s politicised and biased evaluations came almost at the same time as the remarks of UN Under-Secretary-General Stephen O'Brien at the UN session, where he described the situation in Yemen, not in Syria, as the worst humanitarian disaster. It is regrettable that the Yemen conflict, as well as the situation in a number of other countries requiring urgent attention, in particular around Mosul in Iraq, for some reason drop off the high commissioner’s radar or are commented on indirectly. How is that for his so-called “objectivity”?

We must say that Mr Hussein’s remarks at the 34th session of the UN Security Council are certainly not the first example of his comments or public evaluations that are not befitting of a UN official and that run counter to the professional work ethic of a UN Secretariat official, as defined in the UN Charter. Previously, he took the liberty of making inappropriate comments on the work methods and decisions of a UN intergovernmental agency – the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – making personal attacks on the actions of public politicians and even insulting heads of state in his statements.

This raises the question: Does Mr Hussein’s behaviour measure up to the authority and the high international status of the post that he holds? What goal is he pursuing by antagonising states that have been set on constructive cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms? Perhaps his superiors at the UN Secretariat should also pay attention to this.




LATEST EVENTS

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.



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