29 March 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

17.03.2017

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the occasion of the three-year anniversary of Crimea’s unification with Russia

On these March days, we celebrate the third anniversary of a landmark event in the modern history of Russia, which received the poetic name of the Crimean Spring.

The proclamation in March 2014 of the independence of the Republic of Crimea and its unification with the Russian Federation were a legitimate exercise of the right of the people of Crimea to self-determination following an armed coup in Ukraine and the mayhem wreaked by radical national forces that did not hesitate to use terror and intimidation on both political opponents and the population of entire regions of that country.

In these circumstances, on March 17, 2014, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Crimea, based on the results of the general referendum in Crimea on March 16, decided to proclaim Crimea an independent sovereign state, the Republic of Crimea. On March 18, the Republic of Crimea signed an international treaty to join the Russian Federation. As a result, the Russian Federation gained two new constituent entities, the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.

The future has proved the legitimacy of the decision to reunite with Russia taken by Crimeans three years ago. The legality and validity of this exercise of the right to self-determination are on graphic display today, in light of the disgraceful bloody campaign waged by the Kiev regime against its own people. Extrapolating Ukrainian political realities of recent years to Crimea, it is easy to imagine what would have happened to the peninsula had it remained part of Ukraine. It is even easier to imagine if we recall the deplorable outcome of the twenty-odd years in which Crimea was part of the Ukrainian state.

Today, the task of ensuring sustainable socioeconomic development of Crimea continues to be a top priority. Over the past three years, extensive work has been done to establish and integrate the region into the Russian Federation. Active work is underway to build new and upgrade old infrastructure; a bridge is being built across the Kerch Strait; the construction of the Tavrida Motorway has begun, which will connect the Kerch Bridge to Sevastopol, crossing the peninsula from east to west. The Free Economic Zone with its preferential regime in the sphere of land relations, construction, and special terms for entrepreneurial activity creates a wide range of opportunities for investors in Crimea.

There is a trend toward economic growth, including through developing the energy and recreation sectors, and expanded housing construction. Industrial output is higher and unemployment is lower than the average for Russia. These are important economic and social development indicators. With regard to Crimea, this includes jobs and good salaries for the Crimeans, and innovative products made by local enterprises. All of these changes have taken place amid the sanctions imposed on the peninsula by Western countries, as well as unending provocations on the part of Ukraine, including attempted water and energy blockades and severing air, sea, passenger rail and mail services.

The situation on the peninsula is not perfect. However, despite objective difficulties, the federal and local authorities have already done a lot to improve the life of Crimeans and to ensure the comprehensive development of the peninsula as part of Russia. Still, more needs to be done.

Crimea has fully preserved its multinational population. Russians, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, and representatives of other ethnicities who have been living on the peninsula from time immemorial, are building a future together in peace and harmony. Since 2014, Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar have been official languages in the Republic of Crimea.

Over the past three years, Russia has been attending to and promoting the socioeconomic, cultural, religious and other interests of all the peoples and ethnicities living in Crimea at the micro and macro levels. This includes Armenians, Greeks, Crimean Tatars, Italians, Germans, and, of course, Russians and Ukrainians. The efforts of the authorities to strengthen interethnic stability are clearly visible to an unbiased observer. As a result of this policy, according to opinion polls, more than 90 percent of Crimeans say they do not experience any significant interethnic tension in their daily life.

The past three years have clearly shown that despite all the difficulties and controversy with regard to Crimea, there is strong interest in developing cooperation with the peninsula on the part of foreign parliamentary, business and sociopolitical circles, as well as representatives of culture, sports and the media. In particular, over 100 foreign delegations visited Crimea last year as compared to 73 in 2015, and over 70 international events were held.

Preserving its uniqueness and boasting vast potential for development, Crimea attracts attention not only by its remarkable natural beauty and cultural and historical heritage sites of international importance, but also by the hospitality of its people, who are open to dialogue and cooperation.

Anyone can form an impartial opinion of their own by visiting Crimea and Sevastopol and seeing for themselves the actual state of affairs in these two constituent entities of the Russian Federation.




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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